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Braheas in Northern Mexico

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utile

Several of the palms in my garden came from an expedition to find and study different Brahea species in Northern Mexico.

The trip started in Calexico, California side attempting to sleep in my van with 103 degrees at midnight.  The next morning I picked up a Mexican train bound for Los Mochis with buddy Ed Green.  Don't ever do this!!!  It is hot as hell going across the desert on a slow train with no air conditioning.  They serve cold drinks in the daytime and when the air conditioner finally comes on at night they rent you blankets!

Glad to leave Los Mochis we rented a car and headed north.  Somewhere near Alamo (a cute rustic town) we headed out to the hills in search of Brahea elegans.  After negotiating a small river in our rental car the locals guided us to our first B. elegans.  It looked terribly old (see image).  It was growing in the gravel banks of a seasonal creek or wash.  The roots were extremely exposed.  After a night of good rest we headed north toward a little town (it was barely that) called Nuri.  On the way we spotted the tree that I have since called Brahea sp. 'Nuri'.  Seeds were collected.  After seeing my plants grown from this tree and reflecting on the tree called "Nuri" (see image), I feel that it is simply a more robust form of Brahea aculeata.  The trunk was more massive like B. edulis and the inflorescences extended far beyond the crown.  No other palms were in this very open desert area.  Several miles up the road where the "town" of Nuri was located was an incredible colony of about 20 or so Brahea aculeata (see image).  Please note that one of the trees was very blue.  All of them had the classic slender trunks and semi-dwarf stature.  Seeds were collected then back to the city for our next day adventure finding the Santa Rosa Canyon where Brahea nitida survives.  We were very close to the Nogales Arizona boarder and headed back south on a gravel back road for several miles.  To the east of the road we finally spotted the canyon (see image).  It was a beautiful site with palms growing every where among enormous boulders with trunks up to 40 feet or more.  The canyon was extremely difficult to enter trying to climb these enormous rocks.  At the time none of the trees were with seed.  I was fortunate to find a few seedlings that I quickly put into my water bottle.  These babies are still with my garden today.  In my opinion Brahea nitida is one of the most beautiful of fan palms.  They have no thorns, grow fast and their leaves are round 360+ degrees with a glaucus underside.  It is my opinion that Brahea "Super Silver" is nothing but a blue nitida.

One more trip that i would like to mention on this topic was one to Monterey, Mexico where I collected Brahea moorei growing on cliffs near what is called Las Grutas or the caves north of the city of Monterey (see images).

 

Brahea moorei on distant cliffs.jpg

Brahea moorei near Monterey, Mexico.jpg

Brahea elegans in habitat.jpg

Brahea moorii near Monerey, Mexico.jpg

Brahea aculeata group near Nuri, Sonora, Mx.jpg

Brahea nitida canyon from distant view.jpg

Brahea nitida canyon view from above.jpg

Brahea nitida group.jpg

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utile
On 2/9/2021 at 9:13 PM, utile said:

Several of the palms in my garden came from an expedition to find and study different Brahea species in Northern Mexico.

The trip started in Calexico, California side attempting to sleep in my van with 103 degrees at midnight.  The next morning I picked up a Mexican train bound for Los Mochis with buddy Ed Green.  Don't ever do this!!!  It is hot as hell going across the desert on a slow train with no air conditioning.  They serve cold drinks in the daytime and when the air conditioner finally comes on at night they rent you blankets!

Glad to leave Los Mochis we rented a car and headed north.  Somewhere near Alamo (a cute rustic town) we headed out to the hills in search of Brahea elegans.  After negotiating a small river in our rental car the locals guided us to our first B. elegans.  It looked terribly old (see image).  It was growing in the gravel banks of a seasonal creek or wash.  The roots were extremely exposed.  After a night of good rest we headed north toward a little town (it was barely that) called Nuri.  On the way we spotted the tree that I have since called Brahea sp. 'Nuri'.  Seeds were collected.  After seeing my plants grown from this tree and reflecting on the tree called "Nuri" (see image), I feel that it is simply a more robust form of Brahea aculeata.  The trunk was more massive like B. edulis and the inflorescences extended far beyond the crown.  No other palms were in this very open desert area.  Several miles up the road where the "town" of Nuri was located was an incredible colony of about 20 or so Brahea aculeata (see image).  Please note that one of the trees was very blue.  All of them had the classic slender trunks and semi-dwarf stature.  Seeds were collected then back to the city for our next day adventure finding the Santa Rosa Canyon where Brahea nitida survives.  We were very close to the Nogales Arizona boarder and headed back south on a gravel back road for several miles.  To the east of the road we finally spotted the canyon (see image).  It was a beautiful site with palms growing every where among enormous boulders with trunks up to 40 feet or more.  The canyon was extremely difficult to enter trying to climb these enormous rocks.  At the time none of the trees were with seed.  I was fortunate to find a few seedlings that I quickly put into my water bottle.  These babies are still with my garden today.  In my opinion Brahea nitida is one of the most beautiful of fan palms.  They have no thorns, grow fast and their leaves are round 360+ degrees with a glaucus underside.  It is my opinion that Brahea "Super Silver" is nothing but a blue nitida.

One more trip that i would like to mention on this topic was one to Monterey, Mexico where I collected Brahea moorei growing on cliffs near what is called Las Grutas or the caves north of the city of Monterey (see images).  Image 1,2 and 4 Brahea moorei near Monterey, Mexico.  Image 3 Brahea elegans near Alamo, Mexico.  I mage 5 Brahea aculeata near Nuri, Mexico.  I mage 6,7,8 Brahea nitida Santa Rosa Canyon Norther Sonora, Mexico (Please note the 'super Silver Blue in image 7).

 

Brahea moorei on distant cliffs.jpg

Brahea moorei near Monterey, Mexico.jpg

Brahea elegans in habitat.jpg

Brahea moorii near Monerey, Mexico.jpg

Brahea aculeata group near Nuri, Sonora, Mx.jpg

Brahea nitida canyon from distant view.jpg

Brahea nitida canyon view from above.jpg

Brahea nitida group.jpg

 

2017-07-01 03.35.54.jpg

2017-07-01 03.11.17.jpg

2017-07-01 00.29.31.jpg

2017-07-01 00.27.51.jpg

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utile

2017-07-01 03.05.57.jpg

2017-07-01 00.13.52.jpg

Edited by utile
explanation of photos
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Xerarch

Awesome! Love habitat shots

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richtrav

Very neat pictures, was this a recent trip? The palm at Las Grutas is Brahea berlandieri, you’d have to get closer to Ciudad Victoria to see Brahea moorei.

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SHEP

I am confused, is my B. Mooreii gonna have a trunk, after I am dead and gone?  Cecile

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Palmfarmer

incredible photos! I want to do a similar trip. Would you care to share the exact locations where these groves are located on pm?

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