Brahea armata Image
Brahea armata
Copyright © Phil Markey

Brahea armata

Family: Arecaceae    Palm Tree

Common Name: Blue Hesper Palm

Scientific Synonymy:
Erythea armata, Glaucothea armata, Brahea roezlii, Brahea glauca, Brahea lucida, Brahea nobilis, Erythea elegans, Glaucothea elegans, Erythea roezlii, Erythea clara, Brahea elegans, Brahea clara

Common Synonymy:
Blue fan palm, Gray-goddess, Mexican blue palm, Rock palm, Spiny rock palm. French: Palmier épineux du Méxique. German: Blaue Hesperidenpalme, Braheapalme. Spanish: Palmera azul

Cold Hardiness Zone: 8b     View the UK and US zone maps

A solitary, massive, drought tolerant, slow growing, monoecious palm. Common in cultivation, locally common in the wild. It has a smooth, grey trunk, 15.2 m. (50 ft.) tall, 45.7 cm. (18 inch) diameter with spaced ring leaf scars, and huge partially segmented, palmate (fan) leaves, 1.8 m. (6 ft.) long, 1.8 m. (6 ft.) wide, bluish-green above and beneath.

Leaves: 25 - 30 forming a rather dense, rounded crown, bluish-green or silverish-green, petiole 1 -1.5 m long, with curved, sometimes bifid thorns along margins; blade divided to about the middle in 40 - 60 rigid leaflets.

Brahea armata can tolerate freezing temperatures to about -12°C (10.4°F). It naturally occurs in open, sun exposed, montane or lowland hilly locations, and should be planted to maximise sunshine exposure. Under extreme freezing conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, which will usually mean constructing a glass or plastic roof over the plant to keep rain off. Any cover placed over this palm during times of rain or during cold nights must be removed or vented during hours of sunshine or the plant could be severely heat exhausted.

General Information:
A stunningly beautiful palm, widely planted for its ornamental qualities. Very-hardy, but likes a well drained soil, and a long growing season.

Distribution:

Work in progress
Distribution Information currently being revised!

Northwestern Mexico (Baja California, Sonora): desert canyons and cliffs on rocky soils, at low to medium elevations.

Location: Northwestern Mexico (Baja California, Sonora) (26.539394°N, -112.082520°E)

Observations
Map may not represent the complete natural distribution. (Markers display observation data).


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