Photo by Melody

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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There are a total of 20 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sdfrank On Dec 13, 2014, sdfrank from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have 10 of these trees, 9 are green, and the other is icy blue. All were transplanted from 24" or 30" boxes. They are my favorite palm, here in San Diego. You have to be careful of their roots, when putting them into the ground. Once established, they are bullet-proof. They soon start growing and spreading out.

In 4 years, I have not seen one pest, of any kind. They are easy to maintain, seem to grow with little attention. As new fronds emerge, it's a good idea to keep separating them, as they tend to clump together and start leaning over. Once they get to a good size, they look like a giant mushroom. They are just gorgeous.

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 (2 reports)
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Thousand Oaks, California
Visalia, California
Willits, California
Live Oak, Florida
Ocala, Florida
North, South Carolina

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