Some of the most prominent plants throughout the Brazil Garden are the American Oil Palms, Attalea spp. The feather duster-like form of these palms provides a dramatic skyline to the Brazil Garden. The inner part of the fruit is similar to a small coconut which, in their native regions, is cooked down for its coconut-like oil which is used for cooking. The leaves are often used for thatching. The Mule Palm, x Butyagrus nabonnandii is a hybrid between Jelly Palm and a Queen Palm. The name Mule Palm comes from the fact that it is sterile.
A little further down the path is the Jelly Palm, Butia capitata. The jelly palm get its name from the sweet flesh of the fruit which can be eaten fresh or turned into jam.
Kapnick Caribbean Garden
The Old Man Palm, Coccothrinax crinita, is named from its resemblance to an old man’s beard. This Cuba native is very slow growing and can take up to 10 years to reach just 5 feet. The Puerto Rican Hat Palm, Sabal causiarum, is a towering giant. Even though these two palms are over 40’ tall they were only planted here in 2011. These mature palms were donated to the Garden from a house in downtown Naples. The leaves of this palm are used in its native Puerto Rico for making woven hats.
The Cuban Petticoat Palm, Copernicia macroglossa, is only found growing naturally in Cuba. The unusual petticoat look of this palm is from the leaves that stay attached to the trunk for several years even after the leaves die. The Buccaneer Palm, Pseudophoenix sargentii, grows throughout the northern Caribbean and can even be found in the wild in the Florida Keys. It’s bluish green color, strong form and tolerance of dry conditions makes it a great landscape palm for South Florida gardens.