Butia eriospatha or the ‘Woolly Jelly Palm’ as it is commonly known is an attractive cousin to the well known ‘Jelly Palm’ Butia capitata differing by generally having slightly greener leaves and botanically differing by having a brown ‘woolly’ covering around the flowering spike. For us gardeners the real difference is the geographical distribution of Butia eriospatha as it is found mainly in Southern Brazil where the climate is much cooler with high rainfall and occasional frosts even conditions well below freezing. Given this potential for Butia eriospatha to flourish here in the milder parts of the U.K its a wonder this is still a rare palm in cultivation here, probably the reason is that our European palm producers dont feel the need as most of them are located in the mediterranean and dont have to worry about frost and the U.K is afterall is a relatively small market for them, who knows. One thing for sure is that it is definately worth a try if you can find one, given of course you have a mildish garden and the space to accommodate this palm which can reach 6 metres high (ok this will take 50 years or so) with a spread of 3 or 4 metres. Very beautiful, in fact, I’ve grown them for over 10 years in our chilly West Sussex garden and have had mostly success but did lose a fine specimen during one particularly wet winter when it became waterlogged so bear this in mind and plant in a free draining spot. Like another favourite of mine Trachycarpus fortunei, Butia eriospatha can and does grow pretty fast once established producing large classic feather like leaves 2 or metres long even when quite young.