choco palm

Choco Palm

While this plant is on the smaller side for a palm tree, it can live up to 140 years. It can be found in the Nutrien Garden of Life inside of our ENMAX Conservatory.

Small but mighty

This palm tree is known for being spiny – really spiny, with its trunk being covered in spines between 3 to 5 centimetres in length. Its leaves start out solid before they pinnate, but these are less divided than some other palms. Choco palms grow flowers that release a pungent and unpleasant aroma, but these palms aren’t all unpleasant – they play an important role in pollinating their tropical homes.


  • Latin Name: Astrocaryum mexicanum
  • IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (at relatively low risk of extinction)
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Produces: Flowers
  • Habitat: Rainforests of Mexico and Central America
  • USDA Climate Zone: 10
  • Size: Up to 2.5 metres tall
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Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our plants

Fun Facts about Choco Palms

This palm is an important home for many pollinators who use it for food, housing, and mating.

Its green leaves have a silvery underside.

The choco palm’s flowers, seeds, and hearts can be eaten.

It is one of the most abundant plant species in Mexico’s Los Tuxtlas region.

This palm is unusually cold hardy.

Inside the ENMAX Conservatory, this palm tree arches above your head as you walk in.

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