This is probably the hardiest feather palm. It hails from Chile and is a massive palm when mature, up to 25m (75 feet) tall! It has a grey trunk up to 1.3m (4 feet) wide. The Jubaea chilensis boasts a large crown of stiff feather leaves which are dull green above and greyish underneath. The seeds are known locally as `coquitos` or miniature coconuts - they are a delicacy.
This palm once covered vast areas of Chile in millions, but the palm was harvested in huge numbers for its sap to make Chilean palm wine, each tree reportedly yielding 90 gallons. Today it is thought around 100,000 trees survive.
Jubaea chilensis is highly drought tolerant, tolerates severe frost when established and does not need hot summers to grow well. Mature palms in Montpelier France actually survived temperatures of -17C, so it would appear to be an excellent gardenpalms for our climate.