What Fruit Grows on Palm Trees?
Members of the family Arecaceae, palm trees are an ancient and diverse set of trees which bear fruit containing one or even numerous seeds. A number of these fruits are tough or hard and suitable for consumption only by wildlife, like birds and squirrels. But a range of palms produce fruit that’s good for human consumption or useful for commercial purposes.
The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is a tall, tropical tree which grows well in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b to 11. The fruit of the coconut palm consists of a fibrous, hard seed coat surrounding a large, edible seed or nut. The highly nutritious nutmeat includes many culinary uses and may also be pressed to produce coconut milk. Coconut oil, an edible semi-solid fat extracted from the nutmeat, is used in chocolate and ice cream, as well as products like soap, hair conditioner, ointments, lubricants, rubber and paint.
Members of the genus Phoenix, date palms range in height from 10 feet to more than 80 feet, depending on the species. Female date hands bear fruit in case a man tree is nearby, but not all species bear fruit that’s good for human consumption. The key trees used for commercial date production would be the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and the silver date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), each of which grow in USDA zones 9 to 11. Rumors have been grown commercially throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa and southern California and Arizona. Many kinds of date trees are grown as ornamental landscape plants through the southeastern and southwestern United States.
The jelly palm (Butia capitata) is a cold-hardy, small to medium-sized tree having long feathery leaves. It produces clusters of small edible yellowish-orange fruit. The fruit is sweet, but somewhat tart and fibrous and is frequently utilized to make jelly. Native to South America, the jelly palm tolerates occasional winter lows to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and rises well in USDA zones 8 to 9.
Chilean Wine Palm
The Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) rises approximately 80 feet tall with a thick, sturdy rear. This palm bears small orange fruits which contain brown hollow seeds about 2 inches in diameter. These seeds look and taste similar coconuts. The tree also creates a sugary sap which can be boiled down to make syrup or fermented to make wine. But extracting the sap eventually kills the tree. The Chilean wine palm prefers cooler temperate areas and grows well in USDA zones 8 to 10.
The Guadalupe palm (Brahea edulis) prefers sunny Mediterranean climates and is hardy to 20 F. This tree is native to Guadalupe Island, a small volcanic island off the western coast of Mexico. The Guadalupe palm bears small fleshy fruit, like taste and texture to your date. The fruit is frequently used for making jelly and jam. This tree reaches about 30 feet tall in USDA zones 9a to 11.