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Common Name: Wax Palm
Ceroxylon utile is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
S. America - Colombia.
Cloud forests at high elevations up to 4,000 metres in the Andes[
Succeeds in most fertile moist but well-drained soils in a sheltered sunny position[
]. Requires a humus-rich soil with bright filtered light and cool high humidity[
This species tolerates several degrees of short-lived frost in its native climate[
], it can be grown outdoors in essentially frost-free temperate climates[
Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[
]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[
]. Palms can also often be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established - removing many of the leaves can also help[
This palm grows at higher elevations than any other palm[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
This species is not in the IPOI list of accepted plant names.
Fruit. We have seen no reports for this species, but the fruit is probably edible[
A wax obtained from the trunk is used for making candles[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse at not less than 24°c[
]. Stored seed is very slow to germinate. Pre-soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing may shorten the germination time. Plants form a long tap-root some time before forming a shoot so the seed is best sown in groups of two or three in each deep pot, thinning if necessary to the best seedling. Germination of fresh seed usually takes place in 3 - 4 months at 25°c[
]. Grow on the plants in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters and plant out in the summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first few winters outdoors.