Mexican Blue Fan Palm
The Sierra de Baja California is a ruggedly beautiful mountain range populated by amazingly unique and whimsical plants found nowhere else on the planet. We were climbing the Picacho del Diablo, the highest point on the peninsula and it was over 100 degrees at 8:30 in the morning. We hiked through a crazy forest of Dr. Suess like Boojum trees, (Fouquieria columnaris). The ground was purple colored and the sandstone boulders glowed golden in the morning sun. The landscape made us feel like we were on the set of a bad science fiction movie! It was on this trip that we collected seeds from numerous Brahea armata, commonly known as Mexican blue palm or "blue hesper palm" which is native to Baja California. It grows to a height of 15 meters, with a stout trunk. Its distinctly bluish leaves are 1-2 meters wide, with meter-long petioles. The leaves are persistent in nature, forming a shag around the trunk; in cultivation they are typically burned or cut off. The inflorescences extend out beyond the crown, reaching 5 meters in length. The flowers themselves are small, appearing in February and March, while the fruits are 18-24 mm in length, brown and with a generally ovoid to globose shape. It is drought tolerant (although occasional deep irrigation is recommended), can handle both partial shade and full sun, and temperatures down to -10 degrees C. It is found under a variety of names, including "Mexican blue palm", "blue hesper palm", "big blue hesper palm", "blue fan palm", "sweet brahea", and "palma blanca". We offer this well rooted palm in 1 gallon containers.