Butia paraguayensis

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Butia (boo-TEE-ah)
Extreme N.W. Uruguay. Photo by Gaston Torres Vera.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Butia (boo-TEE-ah)
Butia arenicola.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Yatay guazu (Paraguay), yatay poñi (Argentina), coco amargoso (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Dwarf yatay, Arrastradiza palm, Dwarf Yatay Palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Butia paraguayensis is found in Argentina Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast,
Extreme N.W. Uruguay. Photo by Gaston Torres Vera
Brazil West-Central, Paraguay, Uruguay. Paraguay, Argentina (province of Corrientes) and Brazil (states of Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso) in campos, cerrados and pastures. (S.F. Glassman. 1979)/Palmweb.

A dwarf Butia species, from the open grass lands of N Argentina Paraguay, and Southern Brazil.


Trunk type: Solitary, trunk usually subterranean, rarely reaches more than eight inches in diameter. Hight: Reaching a maximum of 2 meters upon maturity. Spread: 3 meters. Leaf detail: Large, elegant, silver green to bluish green, slightly recurving pinnate leaves, petiole unarmed. Flower: Large, woody spathe without groves. Fruit: Brownish yellow, up to 1.6 inches long (4 cm). ovoid. Acaulescent, or with short trunk 1-2 m tall, 10-20 cm in diam.; sheathing base about 20 cm long, petiole 45-48 cm long, margins mostly with short spines interspersed with fibers; rachis of leaf 57-93 cm long; pinnae 40-42 on each side, regularly arranged, middle ones 45-55 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm wide, mostly with acute, asymmetrical tips; expanded part of spathe 40-60 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, smooth or striate, brownish-pubescent at first, becoming glabrous with age; branched part of spadix 35-38 cm long, rachillae 38-43, each 20-23 em long; pistillate flowers ovoid, 10-16 mm long, 6-9 mm in diam.; lower staminate flowers 8-13 mm long, upper ones 4-7 mm long; mature fruit ovoid 3.0-3.7 cm long, 2.1-2.3 cm in diam., beak conspicuous, angled, persistent perianth 1.51.8 cm high, locules 1-3, mature seeds not seen. Editing by edric. (S.F. Glassman. 1979)/Palmweb.


This dwarf Butia is most useful as an ornamental palm in the temperate and subtropical garden where it will tolerate summer heat and extreme cold. Drought tolerant, and some frost tolerance. Requirements: Full sun, fast draining soil, do not water overhead.

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Comments and Curiosities

Believed to be a variety of B. yatay.

Seed is used for fish bate in native Paraguay.

"Until mature, this plant looks a lot like Butia odortata... tends to be more upright in habit (less arch to leaves) and slower and smaller overall. From Paraguay and surrounding countries. Very drought tolerant palm, but prone to rot (very) if watered from overhead... best to water this one with a hose or use drip irrigation." (Geoff Stein)

An interesting, rare, dwarf Butia, this palm rarely grows to more than 180 cm (6 ft) tall. It has a short, slender trunk and strongly arching, blue-green leaves, with the leaflets held in a V-shape. (RPS.com)

Plant capacity without perfilhar (single stem), Acaulescentes adult plants or stems of up to 2 meters; expanded portion of the bract peduncle 40-60 cm long, rachis inflorescence with 13-30 cm,............ paraguayensis. (K. Soares & S. Longhi) (From the portuguese)

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Glassman, S.F.1979. Re-evaluation of the Genus Butia With a Description of a New Species. Principes 23: 65-79.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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