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Copernicia alba - Morong. ex Morong. & Britton.

Common Name Caranday Palm, Caranda Palm, Caranda Palm Wax
Family Arecaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Habitats Open forest and Pampas[ 314 ]. Low-lying, seasonally-inundated savannahs, in areas where flooding is followed by the soil drying out completely[ 768 ].
Range Southern and western S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, central Brazil, Bolivia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Copernicia alba Caranday Palm, Caranda Palm, Caranda Palm Wax

Falconaumanni wikimedia.org
Copernicia alba Caranday Palm, Caranda Palm, Caranda Palm Wax


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Copernica alba or commonly known as Candaray Palm or Wax Palm is an evergreen palm tree in Southern and Western South America that grows up to 25 m in height and 40 cm in girth. It has a cylindrical trunk with greyish, smooth bark. The plant is known for the high quality wax obtained from its leaves. The wax is used to make polishes. The leaves are also used as thatch material and for weaving mats, baskets, and hats. The white wood is resistant and durable, and used for poles, fencing, and building. The fruits are eaten fresh or used for juice and alcoholic drinks. Tips of young plants are also edible.

Physical Characteristics

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Copernicia alba is an evergreen Tree growing to 18 m (59ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Copernicia australis Becc. Copernicia nigra Morong Copernicia ramulosa Burret Copernicia rubra Moron

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Shoots
Edible Uses: Drink

The fruit are eaten fresh or used for juice and for alcoholic drinks. The tips of young plants can be eaten.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
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Other Uses

Basketry  Fencing  Polish  Thatching  Wax  Weaving  Wood

Other Uses: A high quality wax is obtained from the leaves[ 297 ]. It is used to make various high quality polishes[ 297 ]. The leaves can be used for thatching[ 46 , 297 ], and weaving into articles such as mats, baskets and hats[ 297 , 768 ]. The white wood is resistant and durable[ 46 ]. It is used for telegraph poles, fencing and building[ 46 , 297 , 768 ]. landscape uses: Pest tolerant, Specimen Plant. Blooms are very showy

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Plants succeed in moist tropical climates where temperatures never fall below 10c, the average annual rainfall is 1,500mm or more and the driest month has 25mm or more rain[ 297 ]. They can also succeed in drier areas with an annual rainfall as low as 250mm and one month or more where rainfall is below 25mm[ 297 ]. Plants can tolerate occasional light frosts with temperatures down to -2c[ 423 ]. Plants grow well in full sun, even when small[ 297 ]. Prefers a position in light shade[ 423 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - pre-soak 24 hours in warm water and sow in containers. The seed can take 2 - 3 months to germinate[ 297 ]. Fresh seed germinates easily[ 314 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Copernica alba or commonly known as Candaray Palm or Wax Palm

Argentina, Asia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Paraguay, SE Asia, South America.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Copernicia pruniferaBrazilian Wax Palm, Carnauba Palm, Carnauba WaxTree12.0 10-12 SLMHNM334

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Morong. ex Morong. & Britton.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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