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Description

The Blue hesper palm is single trunk fan palm growing slowly to 30-40 ft. tall with 24-30 in. diameter trunks. Distinctive fan-shaped fronds are chalky blue-gray in color with sharp spines on the petioles; fronds persist on the trunk until removed. Long and arching creamy-yellow inflorescences occur for several weeks in summer for a dramatic display; colorful orange fruit to 1 in. diameter mature by the end of summer.

The Blue hesper palm is quite rare in nature where it is restricted to several small canyons and desert slope areas of northwestern Baja California. In contrast, it is a popular palm in Inland Valley landscapes and gardens as an accent tree due to its distinctive flower and foliage character. It is used as a focal plant and entry accent in containers and raised planters; large specimens take many years to develop. It prefers full sun, well-drained soils and periodic summer irrigation.

Water Needs

The Blue hesper palm is well adapted to hot microclimate locations in the Inland Empire where it thrives in sun and with normal winter rainfall and low amounts of summer water. Monthly deep watering from spring through fall will enhance its spring flowering cycle and help maintain good foliage character. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water depending upon exposure conditions and size.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
 
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

 
0"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
1"-2"
0"-2"
0"-2"
  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Palm
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Arching
Growth Rate: Slow
Height: 30 ft. - 40 ft.
Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Cream
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil, Deep soil, Calcareous soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Near pools and water features, Foliage accent plant, Civic spaces, Banks

Maintenance

Prune dead or yellow fronds (leaves) anytime as needed. Prune off dried flower stalks in spring to prevent seed formation and drop (D).

References

Associations

Plant Palettes

Plant Lists