Parajubaea cocoides (Mountain Coconut)
Species: P. cocoides
Binomial name: Parajubaea cocoides
Common name: Mountain Coconut, Coco Cumbe, Quito palm, Quito Coconut, Cocumbe Palm,
Parajubaea cocoides is a palm that originates in Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia where it is found at altitudes from 2000 to 3000 metres. It grows to 15 m at a medium rate. It is a very hardy and wind tolerant palm but is frost tender.
The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, and both sexes can be found on the same plant).
Parajubaea cocoides is written up in the book “Lost Crops of the Incas” as a food crop species for the mini-coconuts that it produces. In New Zealand’s climate they will eventually produce the walnut sized edible nuts.
Apparently, this particular species of Parajubaea has only been found in cultivation except when in 2010 it was discovered growing wild in Peru in the Peruvian Andean region in the district of Tabacons (1900 m above sea level.
Some speculate that Parajubaea cocoides is just another form of Parajubaea torallyi, but so far, the two are considered distinct species.
Photographed at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.