This beautiful tree is the Chilean Wine Palm. It is endemic (unique to) a small area in Central Chile. If we don’t spot one on our own, we can see it at the Jardín Botánico Chagual, a botanical garden in Santiago. This tree is a very slow growing tree, taking nearly 20 years to become a tree rather than what appears to be a shrub. It can take 18 months for a seed to germinate. Obviously patience is key. Bri, Damien, and Elias, if you start a seed now, you might see a trunk for this tree when you are in your late 30s!
I learned a lot about this palm by reading this BLOG post. The tree can get up to 80 feet tall but if you see one that tall it is probably 100 years old. The trees are at risk and protected by Chilean law. Collection of the sap is limited as it comes from cutting the tree down and collecting the fluid that runs from the upper part, sometimes yielding nearly 80 gallons. The sap can be used to make a wine or can make a sweet syrup.