Parajubaea cocoides

Quito coconut palm
Fast-growing palm resembles the coconut (& produces edible nuts!) but thrives in chilly fog-belt gardens. Luscious & graceful.
height 30–50
width 15–20
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Fog, Wind
This palm should be watered deeply every week or two once it’s established. It doesn’t want to ever dry out completely.
exposure Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix
fertilizing Palm Fertilizer
origin NW South America
15–17, 22–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

This tree does not perform well in areas of dry or wet heat. Cool weather and marine influence seem to be key to its success, though it does grow well outside of the foggiest areas of the Bay Area, such as the many specimens growing in the Berkeley Botanical Garden.
This species is considered the most temperamental of the genus, probably because of its issues with dry heat.
Palms are generally heavy feeders, so if you want them growing quickly and looking their best, they should be fertilized at least three times a year. Fertilizing at spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox will allow for a winter rest. Be sure to feed your palm with a fertilizer that contains micronutrients (especially including magnesium), especially if you see yellowing leaves or yellow spots on the leaves.
This solitary palm will grow only one trunk during its lifetime. If you have a pot with multiple trunks in it, that’s because multiple separate palm trees were germinated in the pot. The good news is that you won’t need to thin out suckers over time to maintain the number of trunks you started out with.
With leaves growing in a single plane along most of the rachis, the feather palm has an elegant look to it.

Special Interest

This plant is only known in cultivation; commonly around Quito in Equador, but also within California for many years.

As the name suggests, this plant makes small edible coconuts once mature!