The Palm Society--Northern California Chapter

Northern California Chapter
Palm Society
Lakeside Palmetum
Species List
Additional Pages

More places to see palms
Seeds and such

Brahea aculeata
Brahea armata
Brahea armata var. Clara
Brahea armata X aculeata
Brahea berlandieri
Brahea berlandieri -Tilaco
Brahea brandegeei
Brahea decumbens
Brahea dulcis
Brahea edulis
Brahea elegans
Brahea moorei
Brahea nitida
Brahea pimo

Brahea armata

Common name: Mexican Blue Palm *
Native to: Mexico Baja / Sonora
Mature height: 35 feet
Mature spread: 6 to 10 fe
Growth Habit: solitary
Leaf type: palmate
Brahea armata

photo by: Dennis Valdez
Edith Bergstrom Garden


A mature Brahea armata in full flower is truly an awesome and spectacular sight to behold. Enjoying its silvery foliage glistening in the light of a full moon is an almost ethereal delight. Without a doubt it is one of the most beautiful of all palms. Although native to the Sonoran desert, it is adaptable to the cooler regions of the California coast, where it grows slowly but steadily. It is however, quite intolerant of warm humid regions like the Southeast, where it sulks, even though it is hardy to extreme cold in dry conditions, surviving 10-15 F. Seedlings frozen in pots at 18 F in the freeze of 1990 all survived. Keeping the crown dry during the warm Mediterranean summer is critical. Armatas have been lost due to fungal infections of the crown caused by overhead watering. As Braheas will readily send roots as deep as they need to go to find water, established plants need no irrigation. It is probably for this reason that they resent root disturbance, and often never fully recover from being transplanted.

The Ruth Bancroft specimen pictured is about 32 years old.

Brahea armata

photo by: Dan Sekella
Lakeside Palmetum
Brahea armata

photo by: Dan Sekella
The Ruth Bancroft Garden
Walnut Creek
This species in the garden:
Growth rate: slow
Sunlight: full sun
Water: moderate to none
Cold Tolerance: 15 F
Seed or plant availability: limited

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© 2004 by the Palm Society, Northern California Chapter