Brahea dulcis

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Brahea (brah-HEH-ah)
dulcis (DOOL-siss)
Brahea dulcis specimen3.jpg
Photo by Paul Craft
Scientific Classification
Genus: Brahea (brah-HEH-ah)
dulcis (DOOL-siss)
Brahea berlandieri , Brahea bella.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary, some var. may cluster.
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Acercamiento, Sombrero Palm, Blue Rock Palm, Palmito Serrano Norteño.

Habitat and Distribution

Brahea dulcis is found in Southern N. America - Reo Grande Valley of Texas,
Braheas in the low late afternoon sun. Photo-Adventures in Mexico
Northeastern Mexico and southwards to Guatemala, and Nicaragua, common on cliffs, and rough terrain. Dry woodlands, usually in limestone deposits.


Usually single trunked, rarely clustering palm to about 7.5 m tall, costapalmate leaves, with both blue and green forms. Hight: to 25 feet (7.5 m). Leaf type: Costapalmate, 10 to 15 leaves per crown, slightly glaucous green. 30 to 50 leaflets, slightly armed. Trunk detail: Solitary, to 8 inches in diameter (12 to 20 cm). Flower: Monoecious. Flower spathe emerging from the crown, amongst the fronds, thick, tomentose. Fruit: green to brown, tomentose.. 0.4 to 0.6 inch long (1 to 1.5 cm). edible fruits, ovoid. Leaf type: Costapalmate, 10 to 15 leaves, slightly glaucous green. 30 to 50 leaflets, slightly armed petiole. Fruit: green to brown, tomentose.. 0.4 to 0.6 inch long (1 to 1.5 cm). edible fruits, ovoid. Height: to twenty feet. Trunk type: Solitary, and clustering, within the same species. Leaf detail: Palmately compound, bright green, finely cut, fronds smaller than other Brahea. Brahea var. berlandieri and B. var. bella are horticultural selections which have at times been assigned species status. Brahea dulcis distinguishing characteristic is in having uniformly green leaves in contrast to the silvery-glaucous foliage of Brahea berlandieri. However, as wild collected specimens at the Huntington Garden exhibit identical floral and structural characteristics, Brahea berlandieri var. bella can hardly be considered to be a separate species. In addition, there are mixed populations in Mexico with both "varieties" present. To add to the confusion, both have been considered to be varieties of the widespread Brahea dulcis by some authorities, and taxonomically still are. Editing by edric.


Requirements: Water sparingly, Min. Temperature: 23°F (-3°C), well drained position. Frost and drought tolerant. Dislikes high humidity. Slow growing. A very tough, drought and frost resistant, and easy to grow palm for temperate and subtropical climates.

PFC for PP.png

Comments and Curiosities

Certainly the most confusing of the Braheas, the stems can be short or tall, thick or thin, solitary or suckering, and the leaves can range from green to glaucous blue. Coupled with this is its huge range, from N-Mexico right down to Guatemala, with many variations along the way. (

Edible fruit.

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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