A solitary, massive, drought tolerant, salt-tolerant, slow growing, monoecious palm. Rare in cultivation, critically endangered in the wild. It has a rough, grey-brown trunk, 10.7 m. (35 ft.) tall, 35.6 cm. (14 inch) diameter with spaced ring leaf scars, and huge partially segmented, palmate (fan) leaves, 1.8 m. (6 ft.) long, 1.8 m. (6 ft.) wide, light green above and beneath.
The palm is similar in appearance to Brahea armata but can be distinguished from other Brahea species because it does not have a skirt of persistent dead leaves, or leaf petioles. The large fan-shaped leaves usually have an indentation along the midrib. This palm flowers from February to March with black fruits (25 to 35 mm across) forming in summer.
Brahea edulis can survive freezing temperatures to about -6.5°C (20.3°F), but freezing is best avoided. This species naturally occurs on islands in moist forest, and is heavily effected by the surrounding sea temperatures, which are constant and often form sea mist and cloud. In this type of natural environment temperature fluctuations are slight, and this palm prefers a constantly mild climate with little temperature difference between day & night, and Summer & Winter. Under extreme freezing conditions we recommend you keep this palm as dry as possible, and well wrapped up.
Endemic to the volcanic desert island of Guadalupe off the northwestern coast of Baja California, where it grows mostly in canyon bottoms but also on slopes. The species is in critical danger of extinction in the wild due to its small natural range and the grazing of wild goats that ere introduced to the island.