Adapted from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter of June 22, 2007
issued from Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve,
QUERÉTARO, MÉXICO

DWARF ROCK PALMS

Another eye-catching plant in very dry, thin soil where white limestone outcropped on steeper slopes was the 10-ft-high fan-palm shown below:

Brahea Moorei, Dwarf Rock Palm

That's a Brahea, and there's only one Brahea listed for our region, which is BRAHEA MOOREI. However, I can't find any reference to this species producing such a monumental trunk as the one shown in my picture. Pictures on the Internet usually portray trunkless plants, or ones with very short trunks, sometimes running along the ground. In fact, the usual English name given for Brahea moorei is Dwarf Rock Palm.

Either The Braheas in this area are much older or for some reason more developed than the ones people elsewhere have seen, or it's a different species altogether. This makes my botanist blood gurgle, but I'm in no position to figure it all out.

Even here most specimens are trunkless or very short-trunked. However the occasional trunked plants such as the one in the picture manage to impart to the landscape a real exotic flavor.