Plant Profile: Brahea armata - The Mexican Blue Palm
One glance at the leaf of a Brahea armata is enough to tell you why it's
called a 'Blue' palm. The actual colour can vary between deep blue,
steely-grey and light green according to the light it's viewed in.
Brahea armata has one of the bluest colours of any palm. This is due to a shiny, waxy covering to the leaves. It can tolerate freezes down to about -10C (possible lower for short spells) as long as it is kept in very well-drained soil. Waterlogged soil will bring it to an early grave - so be warned!
While Brahea armata is the best known member of this genus, there are actually several other highly decorative and quite hardy Braheas. For example, Brahea edulis, the Guadalupe Palm, can also tolerate several degrees of frost if grown in a well-drained, sunny spot in a mild area. This species eventually grows into a tall and striking palm with a robust trunk and deep green leaves.
Note: Brahea palms are sometimes listed under the older genus
name, Erythea. The name 'Brahea' refers to the 16th Century Danish
astronomer, Tycho Brahe.
A beam of sunshine picks out the subtle greeny-blue
shades of some Brahea armata palms at our nursery.
Information and photos on this page are
courtesy and © copyright Huw Collingbourne
Rosedown Mill Palms & Exotics
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