Cocora Valley Wax Palm

The national tree of Colombia - the Quindío wax palm is the tallest recorded monocot in the world. It grows in the humid montane forests of the Cocora Valley in Colombia.

21 June 2020

The trunks of the wax palm reach growth heights of 15m to 50m (rarely 60m) and a diameter of 20cm to 40cm. The Quindío wax palm has prolonged growth and can live for several hundred years. The fully grown palms are characterized by a thick layer of wax on the bark. In the 19th century, candles were made from the wax obtained.

Wax Palm - Ceroxylon Quindiuense

The crown is almost round, having 18 to 30 4.5m to 5.5m long palm fronds that grow upwards. The young palm fronds are excessively collected for religious festivals, such as Palm Sunday. This is one of the contributing factors the Quindio wax palm is classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) in the category vulnerable.

Los Nevados National Natural Park

The Quindio wax palm provides habitat and food for several animal species. The rare yellow-eared parakeet prefers this species as a breeding tree. The palm hearts belong to the food supply of the spectacled bear, and the ripe fruits serve as food for the green jay, the great thrush and the emerald toucanet.

Cocora Valley

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