Friday, September 9, 2011

Jelly Palm Fruit & Once Firing

This is one of two jelly palms, Butia capitata, in our front yard. The jelly palm is a more frost tolerant palm to grow. You might wonder why I let the brown leaves stay on the palm. Palm trees are able to recycle the nutrients of their declining leaves back into the plant, so I let them go completely brown before removing the lower leaves. Last year our palms looked sickly, this year they are much greener and healthier looking and have no yellowing to their leaves.

Here is the fruit up in the tree. If you eat the fruit when it isn't ripe it is astringent like a persimmon. They say if the bird eats the fruit it is ripe. When the fruit is ripe it tastes like a cross between an orange, mango, and pineapple, very delicious. But the fruit has a large seed so there isn't much to eat. I let most of the fruit drop to the ground and the tortoise, birds, and squirrels have a refreshing treat.

There's a lot of fruit lying on the ground; at the end of the day most of it will be gone.

Not much fruit left now. Look there's a orange and yellow mushroom growing under the palm.

Here's a closeup of the mushroom. Oh and this fern is growing in the trunk of the palm.

I've gone all out this time. Finally got a break in the weather; I'm once firing (no bisque fire) a whole kiln load of my new work, my wall sculptures. I have never once fired before. The pieces have no glaze. If they make it, I'll be putting a cold treatment on the surface, adding a hanging mechanism, and they'll be ready to go. In case of problems, I have two more kiln loads ready to fire so that will help reduce any tears. The kiln is at 1000 F now; still time to turn back. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    In our gardening days in Herefordshire in the UK we were never able to grow such trees as the Jelly Palm as it could not overwinter. Yours seems, therefore, so very exotic and wonderful.

    We are sure that all manner of wildlife enjoys the fruit salad that you leave for them. It is good to have things for birds and animals to be tempted into the garden as they are so lovely to watch.

  2. With no glazes I don't think you can go wrong. Just do your Bisque schedule and keep going on up.

  3. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, this palm is really quite hardy but probably not enough for England. The fruit is very delicious. I can't imagine making jelly out of it as there is so little fruit and such a big seed.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, that's how I programmed the kiln with the bisque and then the glaze following. It's just kind of scary trying something new and then there are the cold surfaces which I haven't even tried. I am hoping this works out though because think of the savings on electricity and time loading and unloading.

  4. Even an old time Floridian can learn. I have passed those fruit on the ground many times and never thought to eat one. Shame on me.
    Love their recycle efforts.

  5. Hi Patti, thanks, yeah they are edible and so delicious. I planted one in California and did some research then, so when I moved here I knew what they were, these are quite large and the healthiest ones around here.

  6. I'm sure your firing will be fine, I'm looking forward to seeing the results.

  7. you are so adventurous, always trying something new!
    the palm tree is beautiful, i have always loved them.

  8. Hi Lori, thanks, we shall see, now I am on to experimenting with my cold surfaces treatments.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I have always loved palms too, when I was a kid I used to draw two palm trees with coconuts on an island all the time when I was sketching. I should make a tile of that memory, I think I will. Ha.


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