Andean Region. These palms should make handsome ornamentals in cool and dry areas in many parts of the Andes. Moreover, the nuts could be an increasingly useful product for home consumption, for sale in markets, and perhaps to feed guinea pigs (they dehusk the nuts with their sharp teeth).
The plant also has increased potential as an ornamental. Although naturally occurring stands are not known, they may yet be found. The Andes should be searched for germplasm because the specimens growing in Quito and other cities seem to be very uniform—they even seem to be all the same age.3
Other Developing Areas. Because this is a cool-weather palm, it is unsuited to most of the normal palm-growing regions. However, it seems unsurpassed for cool, mild areas such as the lower Himalayas, the uplands of eastern Africa, and the mountains of New Guinea. These regions have the right habitat for what is one of the most beautiful and spectacular palm species known. It is not likely to become a major economic crop, but the nuts would be enjoyed and would provide some nourishment, especially to children.
Industrialized Regions. The Quito palm should make a handsome ornamental in cool and dry areas of warm-temperate regions. It is promising for use in large public areas such as parks. It is now becoming established as a new landscape feature in northern and central California. Coconuts cannot grow in such areas. All in all, it is a unique and beautiful species that answers the home gardener's need for a long-lived, elegant, vigorous, and tough ornamental tree. The small, edible nuts are a bonus. One caution must be noted, however. This plant may prove to be quite restricted in its adaptability and may, for example, strictly require a cool summer climate.