Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Edible Palms

Palms with edible fruits, nuts or other edible parts

Family: Family: Arecaceae

Everyone knows that dates and coconuts grow on palm trees, but did you know that there are many other types of plams that yield edible products? These have been largely ignored as food sources in Australian gardens.

Some links have been provided below to help you explore some of the species that are used for food internationally. As always, do some research before planting to ensure that it's suitable for the position and you have the ability to manage the plant and harvest the products. Apart from general size and climatic considerations, some palms have sharp spines, while falling coconuts can be lethal.

More Online Information

The following are for general information, research and ideas - some species or cultivars referred to in links may be unavailable in Australia. If you are looking for these unusual species, you'll probably have to seek out a specialist nursery. Check the Palms page. Fruit tree specialists are another possible (but less likely) source. Check the Fruits and Nuts page.


Information moved to a dedicated page: Coconut Palms


Date (Phoenix dactylifera) From "Fruits of Warm Climates" by Julia F. Morton, at the NewCROP website
Make a date with date palms discusses several members of the genus Phoenix. University of Florida
Lethal Yellowing Susceptibility of Date Palms in Florida TropicLine, University of Florida, USA
Phoenix dactylifera L. From "Handbook of Energy Crops". Reproduced at the NewCROP website
Phoenix dactylifera Ecocrop database, FAO

Bactris gasipaes

Bactris gasipaes Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.
Pejibaye From "Fruits of Warm Climates" by Julia F. Morton, at the NewCROP website
Bactris gasipaes (peach palm, pejibaye) Ecocrop database, Food and Agriculture Organization
Peach palm Bactris gasipaes Kew Gardens
Peach-palm from Neglected Crops: 1492 from a Different Perspective"
Pejibaye New Crop FactSHEET
Bactris gasipaes Kunth NewCROP, Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University
Bactris gasipaes H.B.K. From "Handbook of Energy Crops". Reproduced at the NewCROP website

Brahea edulis

Brahea edulis Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia
Brahea edulis Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.
Brahea edulis City of Los Angeles Street Tree Selection Guide
Brahea edulis H. Wendl. ex S. Wats. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Herbarium
Guadalupe Palm Photograph at California Rare Fruit Growers

Butia capitata

Pindo Palm, Jelly Palm (Butia capitata) Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Butia capitata Trees of Miami, Florida, USA
albarkema's photos Lots of photos of palms, especially Butia and hybrids. Photographer is apparently based in Southern Brazil

Borassus flabellifer

Borassus flabellifer Ecocrop database, Food and Agriculture Organization
Borassus flabellifer Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc.

Hyphaene thebaica

Hyphaene thebaica Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Hyphaene thebaica Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida

Jubaea chilensis

The Chilean Wine Palm Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, California


Introduction to Multipurpose Palms from The Overstory, an agroforestry ejournal
Edible Hardy Palm Fruits California Rare Fruit Growers
Tropical Palms Non-wood forest products 10, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Discusses uses of various palm products around the world
Phoenix sylvestris Roxb. Center for New Crops & Plant Products, Purdue University

Elaeis guineensis is the source of commercial "palm oil" which is widely used in processed foods and other products. Few home gardeners will be interested in growing this palm, but if you're looking for more information, a web search for that species is sure to return much information on this economically important crop.


A date with history
A Judean date palm has been grown from a seed found in the ruins of Masada, the Jewish fortress that fell to the Romans abround 2000 years ago. Believed to be the oldest seed ever to germinate, the resulting plant has been nicknamed Methuselah. Furthermore, it represents a previously extinct form of date palm, the fruit of which could have properties not present in modern dates. More from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: Researchers Resurrect Extinct Judean Date Palm Tree from 2,000-Year-Old Seed (June, 2008)
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