Pronounciation: Bra-HEE-a ED-ul-us
Sunset 12-17, 19-24
USDA 9-11 (arid and semi arid region best)
Landscape Use: Accent palm, residential and commercial plantings, oasis and xeric design themes in desert regions. Will not grow in humid subtropical or tropical climates like Florida.
Form & Character: This is a single-trunk palm with elephant hide like, semi-self shedding trunk. Similar to a small W. filifera in stature, reserved, dignified.
Growth Habit: Related to Washingtonia fan palms, this is a slow growing fan palm, especially when young, but eventually will reach 45 feet in height.
Foliage/texture: All Brahea palms have costapalmate (a longitudinal rib in the center) fronds. Fronds are green with smooth petioles and might eventually reach 8 to 9 feet wide; coarse texture.
Flowers & fruits: Long, arching plumes of cream-colored flowers on plumes easily twice exceed width of foliar canopy. Fruit are conspicuous round and golden when ripe, 1 to 1.5 inch in diameter, edible. The fruits surprisingly taste similar to dates and are generally eaten fresh or used to make preserves.
Seasonal color: Cream flower plumes in May and June.
Temperature: Cold hardy to 18oF. Less cold hardy than B. armata.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Needs good soil drainage and might sometimes need supplemental magnesium fertilizer in areas with excessively alkaline soil.
Watering: In desert locations, irrigate infrequently, but regularly and deeply during summer.
Pruning: None, except to remove old or dead fronds.
Disease and pests: None, though in it's native island habitat feral goats feed upon all new seedlings.
Additional comments: Guadalupe fan palm is rather popular in California and other Mediterranean climate areas as a slow growing palm for ornamental gardens. The specific epithet, 'edulis', comes from the Latin for 'edible' referring to the fruit. It is faster growing and ultimately larger than B. armata.