Brahea armata S. Watson

Blue Hesper Palm

Trunk solitary, to 12 m tall, stout, grey. Leaves stiff, blue-green, in a large rounded crown, the old leaves hanging as a brown skirt. Leaflets narrow, stiffly spreading. Leaf stalks with curved, sometimes pronged, spines along the margins. Panicles arching well clear of the leaves, bearing masses of creamy flowers. Fruit about 2 cm long, ovoid, brown flecked with white. [Erythea armata S.Watson]

Mexico, Baja California

Grows naturally in rocky canyons. Moderately popular but deserves to be more widely grown. Tolerates neglect.

Trunk stout, grey; leaves bluish-green, stiff, in a large round crown; flower clusters long, arching panicles hanging well clear of the leaves, with masses of creamy flowers.

NSW: Sydney (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney). Vic: Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens)).


B. aculeata (Brandegee) H.E. Moore, Sinaloa Hesper Palm from Mexico has a solitary trunk to 5 m tall, often covered with persistent leaf bases. Leaves in a sparse open crown. Leaf stalks very slender, with well spaced spines. Leaf blades yellowish-green. Leaflets narrow, stiff. Panicles slender, erect, held above the leaves. Fruit about 2 cm wide, round, brown to black. Occurs naturally in open rocky areas. Uncommonly grown. Recognised by the squat trunk usually covered with persistent leaf bases; yellowish-green fan-shaped leaves in a sparse crown, held on slender petioles; panicles erect above the leaves. There is a specimen at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Source: Jones, D; Spencer, R. (2005). Arecaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Arecales
family       Arecaceae
genus        Brahea Endl.