Jelly palms are great against the effects of aging and can treat skin issues and improve eye health. This is because of the rich content of ?-carotene and provitamin A, very valuable in a balanced diet. The jelly palm fruits are also an important source of vitamin C. This strong antioxidant boosts the activity of the immune system, preventing colds and other types of infection. They are small and spherical, usually orange in color.
Fruits can be consumed raw but this is rarely done for practical reasons. They have a sweet taste and a delicate apricot-like flavour. Despite the fibrous texture, the fruit is an excellent basis for jellies, pies, jams or bakery products. The stem pith is sometimes prepared similar to bread, while the seed has a massive content of oil, of up to 45%. The delicious edible fruits can be used in many other ways. They are a tasty ingredient in desserts, marmalades, sauces or alcoholic beverages. Seeds can be used after roasting and grounding to brew a hot drink similar to coffee.
The jelly palm is a very resilient plant, when compared to most of its relatives. It tolerates strong winds, cold weather and mild to moderate frost. It can grow in either full sun or shade. The fronds actually develop better in shady locations, improving the overall look of the tree. Jelly palm resists drought very well and can grow in any type of soil but likes grounds with a content of sand and good drainage. If provided with constant water, the jelly palm tree will develop faster and become more beautiful. Unlike most palms, it doesn't enjoy tropical and subtropical areas. It can be propagated by seeds, which are very viable and often germinate on their own if the fruits are allowed to fall to the ground. It is very common to see mature trees surrounded by younger shoots.
Jelly palm fruits are harvested when they become ripe and a nice trick is to pick entire bunches at once. This will make all of them ripe at the same time. The fruits can be eaten raw, turned into puree or paste, as well as prepared as wines or jellies. When stored in the fridge, the fruits last about one week.