|Sabal subsp. var.||Palmetto|
Sabal is a genus of New World palms, many of the species being known as palmetto. They are fan palms (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves with a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets; in some of the species, the leaflets are joined for up to half of their length. A variable portion of the leaf petiole may remain persistent on the trunk for many years after leaf fall leaving the trunk rough and spiky, but in some, the lower trunk loses these leaf bases and becomes smooth. The fruit is a drupe.
The species are native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of the New World.
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|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Sabal (possibly a native name in South America, but the author of the genus does not explain). Palmaceae, tribe Corypheae. Spineless palms, low, tall, or almost stemless.
Trunk slender or robust, ringed or nearly smooth, creeping or erect, ascending at the base, clothed above with dead lf .-sheaths: lvs. terminal, orbicular or cuneate at the base, flabellately multifid; segms. linear, bifid, filamentous on the margins, induplicate in the bud; rachis short or long; ligule short, adnate to the rachis; petiole concave above, the margins smooth, acute; sheath short: spadices large, elongated, decompound, at first erect, the branches and branchlets slender, recurving, pendent; spathes sheathing the branches and peduncles tubular, oblique at the throat: bracts and bractlets minute: fls. small, glabrous, white or green: frs. small, globose, black, the short style basal. — Species probably 20, if Inodes is not separated. Fla. to Venezuela, and in Mex. Here belongs the palmetto or cabbage palm of the southern states. The best botanical account of the genus is Beccari's, Le Palmae Americane della tribu delle Corypheae, pp. 10- 83 (1907). Most of the species can be cult. in the temperate house, but any that may come into the trade from S. Amer. would require stove conditions. S. Palmetto can be grown outdoors from Charleston southward. S. texana and S. exul are handsomer species, and hardy in parts of Texas.
The arboreous species of Sabal have been separated by Cook (Bull. Torr. Bot. Club, 28:529) as Inodes. These species also differ in their foliage. "The leaves of Sabal are adapted for standing erect and avoid resistance to the wind by being split down the middle. The leaves of Inodes which are held horizontal from an erect axis have attained the unique adaptation of a decurved midrib which braces the sloping sides of the leaf and effectively prevents the breaking above the ligule."
The cabbage palmetto (S. Palmetto) grows in groups of a few specimens to several hundreds or even thousands in the rich black soil on the banks of the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers of Florida, forming a glorious sight. They are found northward to South Carolina, but they attain their fullest development in Florida, where they always form an important feature of the landscape. Generally they grow in dense groups, but they are more beautiful in all their parts where they have room enough to spread. In southern Florida underneath the crown of leaves is often found a dense wreath of ferns (Polypodium aureum), which heightens the charm of these palms considerably. On the St. Johns the trunk is often covered with the trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), or it is hidden by the dense foliage of the cross-vine (Bignonia capreolata), both of which form a beautiful ornament, especially when in flower. These suggestions of nature are often followed by planters who have a feeling for nature-like landscape effects. The cabbage palmetto thrives even in the poor sandy soil, and it is greatly improved by cultivation. Even good-sized trees are not difficult to transplant if the whole stem is carefully dug out and all of the roots and leaves are cut off. If the stem has been set at least 3 feet deep and the soil is kept well watered after planting, the palmetto is almost sure to live. In addition to the palmetto, all of the sabals mentioned in this work are cultivated by the undersigned on high pine land in southern Florida. Under these conditions the sabals have proved a great success, as also all species of Phoenix and all Cocos of the australis type, while the species of Washingtonia, Erythea, Livistona, and Trachycarpus have been an entire failure. S. Blackburniana is, in the judgment of some, the finest of all the fan-leaved palms that can be grown in Florida. All the species that form trunks are objects of great beauty when well grown. They need to be well fertilized, or the lower leaves will suffer and finally die, thus detracting much from the elegance of the specimen. They all grow naturally in rich black soil, but they all thrive exceedingly well in the sandy pine-woods soil if well fertilized and watered; in fact, they can hardly be fertilized too much, and the more nitrogenous manure and water they get the faster they grow. When transplanted they must be set deep. In planting palms make a hollow about 6 feet in diameter and about 2 feet deep in the center. This center, which receives the plant, is the deepest point, while the ground all around is slightly sloping. Care must be taken to remove the sand after heavy rains or the crown will soon be buried and the little plant dies. As the palm first forms the trunk in the soil and as the growth is rather rapid, this precaution is not necessary after the plant has attained a few feet in size.
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Pests and diseases
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- Sabal bermudana L.H.Bailey – Bermuda Palmetto (Bermuda)
- Sabal blackburniana - Hispaniolan Palmetto
- Sabal causiarum (O.F.Cook) Becc. – Puerto Rico Hat Palm (Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic)
- Sabal domingensis Becc. – Palma Cana (Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti)
- Sabal etonia Swingle ex Nash – Scrub Palmetto (Florida and Georgia, United States)
- Sabal gretheriae H.J.Quero.R. – Yucatan Palmetto (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
- Sabal guatemalensis Becc. (southern Mexico and Guatemala)
- Sabal maritima (Kunth) Burret (Jamaica and Cuba)
- Sabal mauritiiformis (H.Karst.) Griseb. & H.Wendl. – Palma de Vaca (southern Mexico to northern Colombia, Venezuela, and Trinidad)
- Sabal mexicana Mart. – Mexican Palmetto (southern Texas south through Mexico to Nicaragua)
- Sabal miamiensis Zona – Miami Palmetto (Florida) (possibly not distinct from S. etonia, and probably extinct)
- Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers. – Dwarf Palmetto (southeastern United States: Florida north to North Carolina, west to Texas)
- Sabal palmetto (Walter) Lodd. ex Schult. & Schult.f. – Cabbage Palmetto (Florida north to North Carolina, Cuba, and the Bahamas)
- Sabal parviflora Becc. (Cuba)
- Sabal pumos (Kunth) Burret (Guerrero, Michoacán, and Puebla, Mexico)
- Sabal rosei (O.F.Cook) Becc. (coast of northwestern Mexico)
- Sabal uresana Trel. – Sonoran Palmetto (Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico)
- Sabal yapa C.Wright ex Becc. – Cana Rata (Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, and Cuba)
Additional listings from SCH.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
The following are mostly trade names, but at present they can be only imperfectly described: S. caerulescens, Bull. A native of Colombia intro. in 1875. Apparently only the juvenile state has been described. Lvs. elongate, linear-lanceolate, plicate, with a bluish or glaucous green color which is very strongly marked on the under surface. Nehrling writes that he cannot distinguish at present his specimens of S. caerulescens from S. glaucescens. -S.dealbata, Hort. "This species," writes Nehrling, "reminds one of S. Mocinii, although it is smaller in all its parts. The lvs. are numerous, glaucous green and of a fine fan-shaped form. Compared with the sabals that form a trunk, these stemless species have little beauty, though they look well as foliage plants in company with Cycas revoluta and Dioon edule." The name "dealbata" means whitened, but it appears to be unrecognized in botanical literature in connection with Sabal. — S. Ghiesbrechtii, Hort., is S. Palmetto, at least so far as some gardens are concerned, but Beccari considers it a European name applied to cult. plants of S. Palmetto. — S. glauca, Hort. Pitcher & Manda, 1895, may possibly be meant for S. glaucescens. — S. havanensis, Lodd., according to Nehrling, "is a more upright grower than S. Blackburniana, has a slender st. and the lf. -stalks are longer and thinner. The lvs. have a bluish green color while young, changing to a fine dark green when they get older." Habitat unknown and the name has no botanical standing. — S. Hoogendorpii, Hort., is Livistona Hoogendorpii. — S. javanica, Hort., Pitcher & Manda, is possibly meant for S. havanensis, since Sabal is an American genus and is not known in Java. — S. longifolia. Hort., according to Nehrling "has very numerous, long and slender lvs. which are bright green above and silvery below." — S. longipedunculata, Hort., according to Nehrling, "is a stemless plant with smaller lvs. than those of S. Mocinii and very long and slender stalks." Reasoner adds that the lvs. are glaucous green. The last two are known only by these trade names, and are not certainly referable to any maintained species.
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