Friday, December 30, 2011

Hesper Palm

Brahea

A genus of 12 species of Fan Palms that are closely related to the Washingtonias.
Most are very attractive and make great landscaping plants. They are entirely native to Mexico and adjacent parts of Central America.
The Hesper Palms require little maintenance other than the typical pruning off of old spent leaves though it is recommended to leave the leaf bases to protect the trunk.
If the old leaves are not removed.
All species are very heat and drought tolerant as well as being tolerant of salt.
Propagation is easily achieved from sowing the seeds which usually germinate in 2 months or less. They are very slow growing at first, increasing in rate once the trunk has formed.

* historical archive photos


Brahea aculeata
This fast growing Palm is hardy to 19 F. Its fan shaped leaves reach up to 3 feet across. Is extrememly drought tolerant.

* photo of unknown internet source


Brahea armata ( Blue Hesper Palm )
A very attractive, slow to moderate growing, spreading-crowned, medium-sized to large Palm, that is native to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 20 years - 20 x 20 feet; largest on record - 100 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 ( rarely over 1.5 ) feet. Very long-lived; the Blue Hesper Palm can survive for up to 300 years.
The huge, fan-shaped leaves, up to 9 ( rarely over 6 ) feet across, are shimmering silvery-blue. The leaflets are up to 42 x 2 inches in size. The entire leaf including the stalk can reach up to 15 feet in length.
They grayish-white flowers are borne on showy, arching plumes, up to 17 feet in length.
They are followed by brown fruits.
The thick trunk is rough.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 ( defoliates at 12 F, tolerates 10 F and is killed at 5 F ) in full sun on moderately moist, sandy, well drained soil. Very drought tolerant. It has been grown in southwestern Utah. The seed germinates better if soaked in warm water for 24 hours before sowing.

* historical archive photos


Brahea brandeegeei ( Brandeegee Palm )
Also called San Jose Hesper Palm. A fast growing, compact-crowned, tall Palm, reaching a maximum size of 150 x 15 feet, that is native to canyons in San Jose del Cabo state in Mexico and the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet.
The thick trunk is rough.
The numerous, fan-shaped leaves, up to 6 ( rarely over 5 ) feet across, are bright green.
The leaflets gracefully droop at the tips.
They grayish-white flowers are borne on arching plumes, up to 17 feet in length.
They are followed by glossy dark brown fruits up to 0.8 inches wide.
The slender trunk is brown.
Hardy zones 8 to 12 in full sun on well drained soil. It is the only species that is tolerant of humid climates and is reliable in Florida.

Brahea decumbens ( Sierra Madre Palm )
A very ornamental dwarf Palm, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 8 feet.
The fan-shaped fronds are very glaucous to nearly white.
Hardy zones 8b to 11 in full sun. Extremely drought and wind tolerant.

Brahea dulcis ( Rock Palm )
A slow growing, small, often suckering Palm, that is native from northeast to southern Mexico. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 6 feet; largest on record - 25 x 8 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches.
The thick trunk is rough.
The fan-shaped leaves, up to 5 feet across, are silvery-blue. The leaflets are up to 5 feet in length.
The bright green to blue-green foliage is striking against darker foliage trees.
The stiff, short leafstalks are spiny.
They creamy-white flowers are borne on large sprays.
They are followed by sweet-tasting, fleshy, yellow fruits.
The trunk is narrow.
Hardy zones 8 to 12 ( generally only tolerating 25 F though clones from northeastern Mexico are hardier ). Preferring semi-arid to arid climates; it is drought tolerant and hates high humidity.

Brahea edulis ( Guadalupe Fan Palm )
A moderate growing, robust, dense, small to medium-sized Palm with a tiny natural range of Guadalupe Island which is in the Pacific Ocean southwest of San Diego.
Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 45 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
The heavy, fan-shaped leaves, up to 7 ( rarely over 6 ) feet across, are bright green.
The up to 80 or more leaflets are up to 80 x 3 ( rarely over 60 ) inches in size.
The leafstalks are covered in woolly brown hairs.
Unlike some other species; the old fronds naturally fall cleanly from the trunk making maintenance easier.
They grayish-white flowers are borne on arching plumes, up to 17 feet in length.
They are followed by abundant, brown to black, wrinkled, prune-like, tasty, edible fruits up to 1.5 inches wide.
The thick trunk is rough.
Hardy zones 9 to 12 ( tolerating 14 F ).

* photos of unknown internet source






* historical archive photo


Brahea moorei ( Dwarf Rock Palm )
A very attractive, small Palm originating from an underground trunk, reaches a maximum size of 4 x 6 feet, and is native to mountains of northeast Mexico.
Some records include: 10 years - 3 x 4 feet.
The fan-shaped fronds are glossy deep green above, white beneath.
Hardy zones 8b to 11 ( tolerating as low as 14 F possibly 10 F ) in partial to full shade on very well drained soil. It hates wet conditions but is very easy to grow in most arid climates.

Brahea nitida
A moderately-fast growing Palm reaching a maximum size of 40 x 12 ( rarely over 30 ) feet.
The fan-shaped fronds are glossy green above, bluish-white beneath.
The leaves are entire or undivided on trees less than 10 years of age.
The leafstalks do not have spines.
Hardy north to zone 9 ( tolerating 20 F with unconfirmed reports of 10 ). It is drought tolerant and actually hates high humidity.

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