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Mexican blue palm

The Brahea armata S. Watson (1876) is native to North-western Mexico (Baja California and state of Sonora), it grows in rock canyons, where water is present, from the sea level up to more than 1000 metres of altitude.
The name of the genus is dedicated to the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The one of the species, refers to the thorns at the edges of the petiole.

It is commonly known in the English-speaking countries with the names of “Blue hesper palm”, and “Mexican blue palm”.

Of slow growth, it presents a solitary trunk, tall even more than 10 metres, of 40-50 cm of diameter, covered of persistent dry leaves. The leaves are slightly costapalmate, rigid, covered by a grey-bluish waxy stratum, very striking, on petioles provided of bent whitish thorns.

The curved inflorescences, reaching 5-6 metres in length, and extending beyond the leaves, are between the most ornamental of the palm family, the flowers, hermaphrodite, of white-cream colour, are followed by ovoid fruits, brown when ripe, long about 2,5 cm.

It reproduces by seed, which, if fresh (within few months from the ripening), germinates in about four months, if with bottom heat.

It is, without any doubt, one of the most ornamental palms, due to the colouring of the foliage and the showy inflorescences.

It resists to the cold, even if down at -10°C, and also some grades less, with slight damages to the foliage, in well drained soils. Its main exigencies are full sun and a very good drainage, on the other hand, it adapts to poor alkaline soils, and, when adult, can tolerate long drought periods.

  • Category Palms
  • Families Arecaceae
  • Genus Brahea
  • Species armata
  • Geographical Area of Origin North America
  • Climatic Zones Mediterranean: South and islands, hills. USDA 10 a
  • Habit Single stemmed palm
  • Leaves Palmate leaf
  • Colore Foglie Verde   Grigio
  • Flowering Period July / August / September
  • Flower Raceme
  • Colore Fiori Giallo
  • Favorite soil Sub-alkaline /Medium alkaline / Neutral / Light sandy / Middle-Dough / Medium soil
  • Water needs Low / little water
  • Light Exposure Full light / Full sun / Medium shade / Half shade
  • Form Palm
  • Colore Frutti Giallo   Viola
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