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Brahea armata
  • RHS AGM

blue fan palm

An erect palm, up to 15m high, with a single trunk covered by fibrous leaf bases, spiny leaf stalks up to 1.5m long, blue-green waxy leaves, 1-2m across, divided into about 50 lobes, and arching panicles 4m long of showy yellow flowers 1.5cm across in summer, followed by rounded yellow-brown fruit, 2cm long

Other common names
big blue hesper palm
blue hesper palm
see moregrey goddess
Mexican blue fan palm
short blue hesper
Franceschi palm
short-arm blue hesper palm
Synonyms
Erythea clara
Erythea armata
see moreBrahea elegans
Brahea roezlii
Erythea elegans
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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Brown Green Blue
Summer Brown Yellow Green Blue
Autumn Brown Green Blue Brown Yellow
Winter Brown Green Blue
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H1C
Botanical details
Family
Arecaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Brahea is a genus of palms, endemic to Mexico and Central America. Also called hesper palms, they all have large, fan-shaped leaves.

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Mexico

How to grow

Cultivation

In frost-prone areas, grow young specimens in full light as houseplants or under glass at 5-15°C in loam-based potting compost such as John Innes No. 2, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly while in growth, water sparingly in winter, and pot on or top-dress in spring - for more advice, see palm cultivation indoors; in frost-free areas, grow in well-drained soil in full sun; will tolerate poor, dry soil, and though frost-tender will survive short periods at 0°C - for more advice, see palm cultivation outdoors

Propagation

Sow seed at 23-27°C in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Sub-tropical
  • Patio and container plants
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to glasshouse red spider mite and scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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