by Jose A. Grassia.
Family: Arecaceae (Palmae)
Species: Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 498 (1916)
Homotypic synonyms: (Check list Kew R.B. Garden 2008)
Cocos yatay, Mart. en A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 93 (1844).
Calappa yatay, (Mart.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Butia capitata subsp. Yatay, (Mart.) Herter, Revista Sudamer. Bot. 6: 148 (1940).
Syagrus yatay, (Mart.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 32: 157 (1970).
Heterotypic synonyms: (Check list Kew R.B. Garden 2008)
Cocos poni, Hauman, Physis (Buenos Aires) 4: 604 (1919).
Butia poni, (Hauman) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1051 (1930).
Common names: Palma yatay, Yatay, Coco, Butiá
Geographical distribution: Southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina and western Uruguay
A solitary trunk palm up to 10-12 meters high, with a showy crown of deeply arching grayish-green leaves. Its trunk can grow from 40 to 60 cm in diameter when mature and preserve the remains of leaf bases, making up an attractive appearance, but usually, older trees have a smooth trunk with few traces of leaves
Description: Solitary, monoecious, pinnate leaves. The trunk is covered by old leaf bases, which are elongated and arranged in an orderly manner around the entire perimeter.
Petioles begin straight, but quickly arch deeply, like the rachis, so that the apex of the leaf almost reaches the ground or the trunk.
Leaflets are very rigid, upright, and attach to each side of the rachis in a single plane, both planes forming a well defined “V”.
Inflorescence: pleonantic, interfoliar, flexuose, 1-
Fruit: ovate, pointed, 5 x
B. yatay tolerates low temperatures well and can take frost to -10 º C. It prefers organic-sandy soils but may grow on limestone and clay, provided they are deep and well drained.
Distribution: It occurs naturally in both coasts of the Uruguay River in
“Palmar de Colón” is considered the largest concentration of natural monospecific palms of the
At present, farming, repeated burning of grasslands, invasion by exotic flora, the action of herbivores and trampling by livestock, have drastically reduced the number of palms. Only
The effects of radiation and seed dispersal have extended the original boundaries of this natural habitat of B. yatay, so that, nowadays, specimens of this species can be found throughout the provinces of Entre Ríos,
Meanwhile, in the
Distribution. Area in green marks greatest population density
Inside the "palmar"