The Brahea Armata (Mexican Blue Palm) is an ever-popular plant selection for landscape gardening. It is frequently found gracing tropical gardens with its strikingly beautiful silver and blue-green branches. With its lighter shades, it makes a luxuriant contrast for darker garden plants. These hardy plants are a perennial favorite.
A desert plant native to the Sonora Desert and Lower California, it is well able to take temperature extremes as well as survive on little water. Since it has a slow growth rate, it can stay in good proportion to buildings and other shrubbery. Its expansive fronds and attractive, inflorescent flowers make it much prized among landscape artists.
California has long been known for its Mediterranean climate which made it ideal for experimenting with tropical and desert plants. In the nineteenth century, horticulturists started bringing in plants from Brazil and Mexico in their efforts to see which plants could adapt to the California climate. They were looking for a greater variety of plants that could be used for landscaping and food production.
As the horticulturists found out, some plants could take the temperature changes and thrive while others could not. With these experiments, experts were able to devise a table of measurements that made it clear which ones could grow under inclement weather as well as water scarcity. Once this data was finalized, it was evident which plants could be transported to other states or even internationally.
The Butia Capitata (Jelly Palm) is another favorite of gardeners. This plant gets its name from the delicious jelly that can be made from the fruit it bears. Since it grows at a slow rate, it is well suited as a potted plant. With its gracious green fronds, it makes a beautiful decorative addition to porches and patios. It is also a hardy plant and can take temperature drops.
Another hardy plant is known as the Butia Yatai (Jelly Palm). This plant also produces sweet fruit that tastes like pineapple and makes excellent jelly. It can survive temperatures as cold as -10 degrees Celsius. This native of Brazil often grows as high as eight meters so it does best planted in soil rather than as pot plant.
Desert plants such as these are hardy and will survive in a variety of temperatures. However, they do best when exposed to direct sun for a couple of hours daily. They will do well with being watering once or twice a week, depending on whether the soil in the pot is wet or dry. Indoors, these plants can develop yellow or spotted leaves if there is too much mineral salts in the water. Experts recommend using soft or filtered water for their care.
The Brahea Armata (Mexican Blue Palm) makes a lovely addition to any garden or public area. It adds an instant touch of the tropics with its attractive green fronds tipped with shades of silver. Not only is this a beautiful garden plant that contrasts well with darker shrubbery, it is also extremely hardy and takes a minimum of care and maintenance.