Jubaea Kunth
  • F.W.H.von Humboldt, A.J.A.Bonpland & C.S.Kunth, Nov. Gen. Sp. 1: 308 (1816) 

Notes: Distribution: C. Chile

General Description

Massive, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm. Stem erect, very stocky, eventually bare and marked with close, oblique leaf scars and vertical cracking. Leaves pinnate, many in the crown, neatly abscising in mature-trunked individuals; sheaths soon disintegrating into fibres and eventually becoming open; petiole short to long, sometimes hardly distinguishable from the sheath, edged with disintegrated leaf sheath fibres except near the tip where almost smooth, adaxially flattened, abaxially rounded or angled, bearing thin or thick white wax or glabrous; rachis stiff or gently curving, proximally adaxial face flattened, angled distally, abaxially rounded, bearing scattered caducous scales distally; leaflets numerous, single-fold, close but irregularly grouped, held ± all in the same plane, linear, very stiff, the tips often with a reflexed hook-like flange representing a fragment of the rein, irregularly obliquely bifid or regularly bifid, thinly glaucous, adaxially bearing caducous scales along the main vein and very few scattered scales and wax on the blade surface, abaxially with abundant caducous scales and bifid ramenta throughout the length of the main vein, transverse veinlets obscure. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, large, branching to 1 order, protandrous; peduncle elongate, ± circular in cross-section, maroon when fresh, covered in dense, caducous tomentum; prophyll short, tubular, 2-keeled, opening distally, becoming fibrous with age; peduncular bract inserted near the prophyll, much exceeding it, enclosing the entire inflorescence until shortly before anthesis, tubular, woody, with a short solid beak, at anthesis splitting down ± the entire length, expanding and becoming cowl-shaped, adaxially smooth, glabrous, creamy-yellow when fresh, abaxially not grooved, only faintly striate, densely covered in soft, brown tomentum; rachis shorter than the peduncle, bearing numerous, elongate, spreading, spirally arranged rachillae, each subtended by a short, inconspicuous triangular bract; rachillae maroon, swollen at the very base and with a short basal bare portion, above which bearing numerous, spirally arranged triads in the proximal ca. 1/5–1/4 and paired or solitary staminate flowers distally, the distal-most rachillae sometimes entirely staminate; floral bracteoles very small. Staminate flowers slightly asymmetrical; calyx with a solid, elongate, stalk-like base and 3, narrow, triangular keeled lobes; petals 3, much longer than the calyx, distinct, valvate, ± boat-shaped with triangular tips; stamens ca. 18, filaments slender, fleshy, elongate, cylindrical, apically inflexed, anthers medifixed, versatile, ± rectangular, latrorse; pistillode small, trifid. Pollen ellipsoidal, frequently elongate, usually with either slight or obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, perforate and micro-channelled, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin similar; infratectum columellate; longest axis 46–54 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers globular, only slightly larger than the staminate; sepals 3, distinct, rounded, broadly imbricate, the outermost ± keeled; petals 3, distinct, rounded, broadly imbricate except at the short triangular valvate tips; staminodal ring low, ± shallowly lobed, forming a collar surrounding the gynoecium; gynoecium trilocular, triovulate, ± broadly ovoid, stigmas closely appressed, ovules hemianatropous, laterally attached to the ventral angle of the locules. Fruit usually 1-seeded, orange-yellow, ± ovoid, with a short beak and apical stigmatic remains; epicarp smooth, mesocarp thick, fleshy, sweet, endocarp smooth, thick, bony, with 3 low crests and 3 pores lateral below the equator. Seed basally attached, closely adhering to the endocarp, endosperm homogeneous with large central cavity; embryo opposite one of the endocarp pores. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll entire, lanceolate. Cytology: 2n = 32.

Diagnostic Description

The Chilean Wine palm, native to Central Chile, and one of the most massive of all palms; the peduncular bract is smooth and there are 18 stamens in the staminate flowers.


Leaf, readily identified by the anatomy of the lamina and showing some resemblances to Butia (Tomlinson 1961), root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b).


Growing on sides of ravines and ridges in dry scrubby woodland.


One species, now much restricted and threatened in central Chile; widely cultivated in warm temperate regions.


Formerly trunks of Jubaea were felled and tapped for wine and sugar, the yield from a single trunk being prodigious. The palm is a widespread and important ornamental in dry warm temperate regions.

Common Names

Chilean wine palm.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Southern America Southern South America Chile Central


  • 1 J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
  • 2 Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

 Information From

Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
  • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  • B http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • C Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • D See http://kew.org/about-kew/website-information/legal-notices/index.htm You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.