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PlantFiles: Droopy Blue Hesper Palm
Brahea armata var. clara

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brahea (BRAH-yuh) (Info)
Species: armata var. clara

One member has or wants this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Mendopalmfarm On Nov 2, 2012, Mendopalmfarm from Willits, CA wrote:

These are awesome. I got two big ones with 4 and 5 ' trunks. Super awesome probably hardy to the upper teens. This is not a var. Of B. Armata but a hybrid of it. Everyone should try to get one in their collection. If you can do B. Edulis you can do a Clara try to avoid wetness in the crown during hot weather. They only tolerate wet heads during cold seasons.

Neutral SuburbanNinja80 On Sep 30, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Cool Palm but, the Spikes on the Founds is a turn off in my Garden also 20 degrees of being Hardy forget that. The Lowest in my Garden is 10 Degrees I like them to Take 5 to -5 Degrees.

Positive krishnaraoji88 On May 16, 2010, krishnaraoji88 from Ocala, FL wrote:

While only a seedling this palm has grown well for me in Central Florida. Many say this is one of the more humidity tolerant Braheas, so that is much different than regular B. armata.

Positive palmbob On Nov 7, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This palm is basically Brahea armata with droopier, more split leaves with a more prominent costa (midrib) and a bit more color in the petioles. Many have referred to it as a separate species (aka Brahea clara), but in the wild (Mexico) there are a variety of slightly different looking forms of B armata, of which this is just one. However, in cultivation, this does have distinct differences from the normal plant. Some evidence points to this being a faster growing plant than B armata.

Some palm experts think this is a hybrid species between B armata and B aculeata.. who knows?


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mesa, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Hayward, California
Oceanside, California
San Diego, California
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Thousand Oaks, California
Visalia, California
Willits, California
Live Oak, Florida
Ocala, Florida
North, South Carolina

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