in Tucson, Phoenix,
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Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Growing Guadalupe Palm: Brahea edulis

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Part of the Arecaceae (Palm) family, the Brahea genus has eleven species, all with fan-shaped leaves, including the Mexican Blue Palm. Brahea edulis has the largest fruit in its genus and prefers hot, dry climates with low humidity.

Form: Palm tree.
Lifespan: Approximately 150 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow.
Mature Size: 36-45' high and 12' wide.
Flowers: Pale yellow, clustered on long plumes.
Bloom: Winter or spring.
Fruit: Round, 3/4" - 11/8" in diameter, edible, yellow, brown or black, thin sweet flesh, with a date-like or caramel taste.
Leaves: Green, wide fan shape, center rib, fan divides past half-way point into many long fingers.
Stems: Trunk grows to 1.5' diameter. The trunks of palms do not have growth rings. Leaf stalks have small or no spines.
Roots: Deep taproot.
Wildlife: Attracts insects for pollination.
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: Yes.
Sun: Full sun. Intolerant of heavy shade.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Water after becoming established: Depending on temperature, once a week for temperatures over 90°F to once or twice a month.
Soil: Very well drained, tolerant of soil types otherwise, but very alkaline soil may result in micronutrient deficiencies. Salt tolerant.
Fertilize: Fertilization speeds growth and is only necessary with nutrient deficiency. Look for 10-5-10 to 20-5-20 (N-P-K) fertilizer that also includes the micronutrients magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe). Apply mid-spring after one year in the ground. Do not over-fertilize. Apply under the canopy but away from the trunk.
Mulch: No.
Prune: Dead fronds tend to drop off on their own.
Litter: Low, except infrequent frond and yearly fruit drop.
Propagation: Seed, which takes 2-4 months to germinate.
Uses: Ornamental, edible fruit.

Accepts windy locations. Thinly-fleshed fruit can eaten fresh.

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Guadalupe Palm: Brahea edulis

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