Parajubaea torallyi

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Parajubaea (pahr-ah-joo-BEH-ah)
torallyi (tohr-ALL-ee)
Bolivia. Photo by Dr. Andrew J. Henderson/Palmweb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Parajubaea (pahr-ah-joo-BEH-ah)
torallyi (tohr-ALL-ee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names
Pasopaya Palm, Bolivian Mountain Coconut.

Habitat and Distribution

Bolivia. It only grows in sandstone ravines of the mountains of central Bolivia,
Bolivia. Photo by Dr. Andrew J. Henderson/Palmweb.
in two aisled interandean valleys "palmar" and "palmarcito" of approx. 14 kmts. diameter and others smaller, both at approximately 2500 mts. above sea level, where it grows protected from winds in a big hole and slopes with a special microclimate. Despite it being very dry with rain in only 2-4 months of the year, the ravines themselves are very humid. It is the only large plant that grows in the area. It has been found growing at altitudes of 3400 mtrs which makes this the highest elevation palm in the world. Even if the area where it grows is protected, the species is every day most endangered, mostly by locals that extract the seed endosperms that are edible and sold in markets of the nearly cities and towns. (Gaston Torres Vera)


Parajubaea torallyi, commonly known as the Palma De Pasobaya or Bolivian Mountain Coconut. It is endemic to Bolivia, where it grows in dry forest on steep rocky slopes at 2,400-3,400 meters altitude, and is now threatened by habitat loss. Mature plants can be over 13 meters in height. They can withstand temperatures of -13 degrees Celsius. The fruits, or cocos, grow 5-10 cm in diameter in clusters weighing up to 15 kg. (Gaston Torres Vera) Editing by edric.


"Rare in cultivation is indicated for cool, cold and specialy dry places. Cold and drought tolerant. Fast growth palm that slows its growth speed in warmest days of summer. Seeds germinate, after presoak, erraticaly from 4 months to some years (for more information see germination). Seedlings are robust of entire leaves and grow quickly after its first pinnate leaf. The palms like rich soil (humus), good drainage and well watered for good growth speed. Some cultivated palms in clay produce smaller fruits and seeds. The most cold tolerant, hardy and fastest growing of the Parajubaeas." (Gaston Torres Vera)

"This is probably one of the very best palms suited for Southern California weather. It actually does pretty well in N California, too. Not a good palm for humid climates such as Florida and Hawaii. This palm is native to the Andes of western Bolivia and is pretty rare there.. but recently it has been collected heavily and is starting to show up in cultivation. It is a magnificent palm, approaching monolithic proportions- thick, hairy trunk and up to 60' tall, maybe taller. It is also a pretty fast grower, which we need here in So Cal, since 95% of palms that grow here are too slow to interest the average grower. The leaves are a slightly silvery-grey on top, and slightly copper underneath; have thin, long leaflets, and are extremely tolerant of high winds, amazingly enough (another thing we need a palm to tolerate in So Cal). Other than its rarity, it is the perfect palm for So Cal... and the rarity part will change someday soon I think. Now if it would just be a bit easier to germinate (takes up to 2 years for a seed to 'pop')." (Geoff Stein)

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

There are two subspecies;

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

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

Special thanks to, 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).

Moraes, M.1996. Novelties of the Genera Parajubaea and Syagrus (Palmae) from Interandean Valleys of Bolivia. Novon 6: 85-92.

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

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