Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Brahea edulis:
Guadalupe Palm

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Form: Palm.
Lifespan: 50-150 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow, to 12" annually.
Mature Size: 45' high, 15' wide.
Flowers: Fragrant, white to pale yellow, separate male and female flowers, clustered together on relatively wide and fluffy plumes.
Bloom: Spring.
Fruit: Round, 0.75" - 1.3" in diameter, green ripening to golden brown to black. The thin sweet flesh, has a date-like or caramel taste when eaten fresh.
Leaves: A green, wide fan shape with a center rib, dividing past the half-way point into many long fingers.
Stems: The trunk grows to a 1.5' diameter. The leaf stalks have small or non-existent spines.
Roots: Deep taproot, not invasive.
Wildlife: The flowers attract insects, the fruit attracts birds.
Toxic / Danger: No. Possible small spines on leaf stalks.
Origin: Guadalupe Island, Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Hardy to 18°F.
Heat tolerant: Its temperature maximum is 105°F, similar to Pigmy Date Palm. Extra water is needed over 85°F.
Sun: Full sun. This palm is intolerant of heavy shade.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Water after becoming established: Water deeply 1-2 times a month, but 3-4 times a month in temperatures over 85°F. Additional water speeds growth.
Soil: Very well drained, tolerant of soil types otherwise, pH 6.1-9.0 (slightly acidic to highly alkaline). This palm is salt tolerant.
Fertilize: A magnesium (Mg) deficiency might occur in highly alkaline soil. This will appear as leaflets that are yellow from the tip to about half-way up. The center will stay green. A palm fertilizer with magnesium can be applied late winter to early spring to correct the problem and/or to provide faster growth.
Mulch: No.
Prune: Dead fronds tend to drop off on their own.
Litter: Wet fruit drop, infrequent frond drop.
Propagation: Seed, which takes 2-4 months to germinate.
Uses: Ornamental, edible fruit.

Part of the Palm family (Arecaceae), the Brahea genus has eleven species, all with fan-shaped leaves, including the Mexican Blue Palm. Brahea edulis has the largest fruit and is faster growing, but needs slightly cooler locations than other palms in its genus. It withstands windy locations.

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Brahea edulis: Guadalupe Palm

Latest update: October, 2021
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