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Products > Brahea armata
 
Brahea armata - Blue Hesper Palm

This listing for information only - We no longer grow this plant  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Palm
Family: Arecaceae (Palmae) (Palms)
Origin: Baja California (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Erythaea armata]
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Brahea armata (Blue Hesper Palm) - A native to Baja California, this fan palm has silvery-blue leaves and grows slowly to 20-30 or more feet tall but is generally seen in landscapes much smaller. This palm rises up on a solitary stout trunk that is covered in youth with the vertically inclined unsplit leaf bases but with age the trunk is bare and light gray colored. The striking gray fan shaped-leaves can be 4 to 6 feet wide attached on 3 foot long petioles armed with yellow teeth. In the summer, the spectacular creamy-colored flowers cluster on 15 foot long inflorescences that rise up and arch down from the middle of the crown of leaves. Plant in full sun to part shade though color and form seem best in full sun. This is one of the plants in Lotuslands "Blue Garden" where it grows relatively well and maintains its blue foliage under the shade of large Cedrus atlantica var glauca and Jubaea chilensis. This palm is drought tolerant and needs little irrigation once established but looks better with occasional summer watering and really benefits from more regular watering in desert heat. It is hardy down to 10F and tolerates desert heat where it grows faster than along the cool coast. Large specimens of this palm are difficult to transplant - avoid cutting or tearing roots when transplanting, even from containers. This plant is native to desert canyons and cliffs on rocky soils, at low to medium elevations in Baja California in Mexico. The current name, Brahea, honors Tycho Brahe, a 16th-17th century Danish astronomer and the common name Blue Hesper Palm is in reference to this plant's previous listing in the genus Erythea. Erythea was one of Hesperides, who in Greek mythology were the nymphs who tended the garden in a far western corner of the world (then thought to be located near the Atlas mountains in Libya). These nymphs were sometimes called the Western Maidens, the Daughters of Evening, or the Sunset Goddesses. When Sereno Watson named the genus Erythea in 1880 he did so because of the palm's distribution on the west coast of Mexico. This palm also goes by the common names Mexican Blue Palm and Gray Goddess.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Brahea armata.
 
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