This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(one of the Hesperides, Daughter of Evening). Palmaceae, tribe Corypheae. Palms with solitary, often robust, spineless caudices, ringed at the base, clothed above with dead leaf-sheaths.
Leaves terminal, the younger ones tomentose in some species, glabrous in others, orbicular, flabellately many-parted, the lobes lacerated at the apex, intermingled with fibers, infolded; rachis short; ligule long; petiole stout, slender and arching in some species, smooth or spiny along the margins: spadices usually paniculate, long, white tomentose; branches stout; spathes many, sheathing the peduncle, thick-coriaceous, densely tomentose; bracts and bractlets distinct; flowers pale: fruit globose or ovoid. - Species 5, Mex.
This small group of American palms includes E. armata, which is known locally as the "blue palm," and E. edulis, the latter commonly known as the "Guadaloupe palm," from the fact that it has been found in a wild state only on the island of Guadaloupe, off the coast of Lower California. Erytheas bear much resemblance to Brahea, the segments of the leaves bearing whitish filaments. In the gardens of Santa Barbara, the erytheas in a few years form very handsome trees, but in less-favored latitudes they may be cultivated in the same manner as kentias or latanias, flourishing in a night temperature of 50° to 55° when grown in a rich and open soil and abundantly supplied with water.
a. fruit more or less globose.
B. Leaves distinctly glaucous.
Wats. (Brahea armata, Wats. B. glauca, Hort. B. Roezlii, Lindl.). Blue Palm. Tall and slender, 40 ft. high: leaves very glaucous; petiole narrow, deeply channeled, margined with numerous stout, more or less hooked, slightly spreading spines; segments 30-40, sub-lacerate at the apex, slightly filiferous: spadix 18 ft. long or somewhat less, sparingly branched: fruits reddish brown at maturity. Low. Calif. G.C. III. 20:425.
bb. Leaves green, not glaucous.
S. Wats. (Brahea edulis, Wendl.). stem 40-50 ft. high, 15 in. thick, with thick, corky bark: sheaths fibrous; petioles stout, 1 in. wide, plano-convex, unarmed on the acute margins, fibrous-pubescent or glabrate above; ligule 2-3 in. long, densely silky-tomen-tose; blade 3 ft.; segments 70-80, at first tomentose, lacerate at the apex and fibrous on the edges: spadices numerous, 5-6 ft. long, branched: fruit shining black. Calif. R.H. 1893, p. 297; 1897, p. 77. G.C. III. 13:507; 22:157.
Brandegeei, Purpus. In nature 125 ft. high and having slender trunk: petioles slender, armed with recurved spines; leaves bright shining green, composed of 10-12 fronded, flabellate leaflets: spadix slightly branched: fruits as in E. armata, but somewhat streaked. Low. Calif. Gt. 52, p. 12. - Intro, by Franceschi in 1912, who says, 'Appears to grow much faster than other kinds and is not less hardy." aa. fruit shaped like inverted pear.
Franceschi. Dwarfer and slower-growing than any other kind: trunk very short: petioles slender, glaucescent, edged with small spines; leaves somewhat glaucescent on both sides: flower-spadix 3-4 ft., branched: fruits about 3/4in. diam., yellowish, at first waxy. - According to Fran-ceschi it was first introduced and distributed by the late John Rock of San Jose, about 1880, and never found again in the wild state, while only one of the plants raised is known to have ripened. N. Taylor.†