This palm from Sonora and apparently Sinaloa, Mexico is a bit of a mystery. While botanically it is usually considered to be synonymous with B. armata, most plants in cultivation under this name in California, from where it has been described a century ago, seem closer to B. brandegeei and B. aculeata and in general appearance have little in common with B. armata. It is a moderately sized palm with a fairly slender, rough trunk and deeply divided, pale green, costapalmate leaves in a smallish crown. The inflorescences are only slightly longer than the leaves. It has been suggested that B. elegans may be a natural hybrid between B. aculeata and B. brandegeei. In cultivation, it is a rather slow but reliable grower, tolerating drought and moderate freezes.