Yatay palm is a single-stemmed, evergreen plant growing 4 - 10 metres tall. The unbranched stem is 35 - 40cm in diameter; covered in persistent leaf bases; and topped by a crown of 30 or more leaves.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as food and medicine. It is also grown as an ornamental.
Butia yatay, the jelly palm or yatay palm,is a Butia palm native to southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. It is known as the butiá-jataí in Portuguese in the south of Brazil, as well as simply jataí or butiá.It is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental in Europe and the United States. It is the tallest of all the species in the genus Butia.The fruit is edible with a sweet flavour.
This is a solitary-trunked palm; the trunk often grows at an incline and is from 3 to 16m, exceptionally 18m tall, although they usually grow shorter in Brazil (to 8m).The trunks grow from 30 to 55 cm in diameter, usually retaining a coat of old leaf bases which do not shed easily naturally and which remain persistent for many years.
There are 11 to 31 pinnate leaves arranged spirally around the crown of the trunk. The 40–130 cm long petiole of the leaf has margins armed in stiff teeth which may grow up to 4 cm in length, as well as fibres along the margins. The leaf has a rachis that is 163–200 cm in length. There are (57-)63-78 glaucous-coloured pinnae (leaflets) along this rachis, these pinnae are (58-)65–77 cm long and 2–3 cm wide in the middle of the leaf. The pinnae are inserted at a single plane on both sides of the rachis, such that each pair of pinnae form a 'V'-shape.