Ajuntament de Barcelona

Brahea armata

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Palmera blava
    Spanish name: 
    Palmera azul
    English name: 
    Blue fan palm
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Erythea armata, Glaucothea armata
    Species characteristics
    Mexico and Baja California
    Gullies and rocky places in chalky lands of arid areas

    Hermaphrodite palm tree 8-12 m tall, although it can reach 15 m, with stipe (non branched trunk finishing into a bunch of leaves), 45 cm in diameter. The stipe gets progressively wider to the base and is vertically stretch-marked, with old leaves remains on the top part.

    The greyish-green leaves are palms with rib, 0.9-1.2 m long. They are made of 45-50 acute segments. The petiole, 1-1.5 m long, has curved prickles at the margins.

    The flowers appear into trios on hairy yellow to brown twigs. The trios appear into very curved inflorescences up to 5 m long which sprout among the leaves (the inflorescences stand out noticeably).

    The fruits are globose or ovoid drupes, about 2 cm in diameter. Its colour goes from yellow to brown.

    Flowering time: 
    Fruiting time: 
    Uses and properties: 

    It is used in gardening because of its appearance and the blue tone of its leaves. It tolerates moderate freeze and adapts well on dry, steril soils.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name, Brahea armata, consists of the genus name Brahea, honouring the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), and the Latin term armata, “armed”, alluding the petioles, with curved dentations.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    CAÑIZO, José Antonio del. Palmeras. Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2002

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996