Brahea armata – Mexican Blue Palm
Statuesque, with long blue-green fronds that sway in the wind.
This is a palm that will grow to nearly 10M, but is generally much less. It grows as a single trunk which is covered with the bases of leaves when young, though bare when mature. The new fronds arise vertically from the top of the trunk and then spread as they open. Each leaf can be up to 4M long and 2M wide.
B. armata is native to desert canyons and cliffs on rocky soils on the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. For reasons that elude me, the name honors Tycho Brahe, the 16th-17th century Danish astronomer.
Soil / Aspect:
This plant prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. It is fully drought resistant, and fully hardy in coastal Tasman once established.
The inflorescences arise in the leaf axils but are not the feature you grow this plant for, and can be pulled away after several months. The old fronds should be left on the plant until they are completely dried up; and then removed with a pruning saw, cutting downwards with the blade as close to the leaf axil as it can comfortably go. I remove three fronds a year from this plant.