Sabal palmetto

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 Sabal palmetto subsp. var.  Cabbage palm, Palmetto
Sabal palmetto-cabbage palmetto-IMG 0252 hunt07.jpg
Habit: palm-cycad
Height: to
Width: to
80ft 15ft
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Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to 15 ft
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: N Carolina to Florida
Exposure: sun, part-sun
Water: moderate
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 8 to 12
Sunset Zones: 12-17, 19-31
Flower features: white
Arecaceae > Sabal palmetto var. ,

Sabal palmetto, also known as Cabbage Palm, Palmetto, Cabbage Palmetto, Palmetto Palm, and Sabal Palm, is one of 15 species of palmetto palm (Arecaceae, genus Sabal). It is native to the southeastern United States, Cuba, and the Bahamas. In the United States. It was originally found near the coast from St. Andrews Bay in the Florida panhandle to extreme southern coast of North Carolina, and throughout most of the Florida peninsula. As a result of horticultural relocations, cabbage palms are now found throughout the south and mature plants are being grown in many areas not normally associated with palm trees. It is the state tree of South Carolina and Florida.

Sabal palmetto grows up to 65 ft (20 m) in height (with exceptional individuals up to 92 ft (28 m) in height, with a trunk up to 2 ft (60 cm) diameter. It is a distinct fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with a bare petiole which extends as a center spine or midrib, (costa) 1/2 to 2/3rds the length into a rounded, costapalmate fan of numerous leaflets. A costapalmate leaf has a definte costa (midrib) unlike the typical palmate or fan leaf, but the leaflets are arranged radially like in a palmate leaf. All costapalmate leaves are markedly recurved or arched backwards. Each leaf is 5 to 6.5 ft (1.5–2 m) long, with 40-60 leaflets up to 2.6 ft (80 cm) long. The flowers are yellowish-white, .20 in (5 mm) across, produced in large compound panicles up to 8.2 ft (2.5 m) long, extending out beyond the leaves. The fruit is a black drupe about .5 in cm long containing a single seed. It is extremely salt-tolerant and is often seen growing near the Atlantic Ocean coast. For a palm tree, Sabal palmetto is very cold-hardy--it is commonly accepted that Sabal palmetto is able to survive relatively short periods of temperatures as low as 7 °F (-14 °C). However, it has also been reported to survive temperatures much lower. Maintenance of the Cabbage Palm tree is very easy and very adaptable. The Cabbage Palm is known to tolerate drought, standing water and brackish water. Even though this palm is drought-tolerant, it thrives on regular light watering and regular feeding. It is highly tolerant of salt winds, but not saltwater flooding.[1]

File:Sabal palmetto2.jpg
The "Sabal palmetto" shows remarkable tolerance of salt, even being able to grow where washed by sea water at high tide. Note the palm in the forefront has not had the boots removed, while the tree to the far right has. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Sabal palmetto is a popular landscape plant known for its tolerance of salt spray and cold. Because of their relatively long establishment period and prevalence on ranchlands, few, if any are grown from seed in nurseries. Instead, established plants are dug in the wild with small rootballs since virtually all the severed roots die and must be replaced by new roots in the new location. Most leaves are removed at this time to reduce transpiration. It is the state tree of South Carolina and Florida. Most references rate the species as hardy to USDA hardiness zone 8a without protection, although with protection, proper siting, and care it can be grown in zone 7. Cabbage palms have good hurricane resistance, but are frequently overpruned for a variety of reasons.

The growing heart of the new fronds, also known as the terminal bud, gives the tree its "cabbage" name, since this is extracted as a food and tastes like other undifferentiated plant meristem tissue, such as the heart of a cabbage or artichoke. It is one of several palm species that is sometimes used to make heart of palm salad. Heart of palm was commonly eaten by Aboriginal Americans. However, extracting the heart will kill this species of palm, because the terminal bud is the only point from which the palm can grow and without this bud the palm will not be able to replace old leaves and will eventually die.

The cabbage palm is remarkably resistant to fire, floods, coastal conditions, cold, high winds and drought. Despite this, alarming causes of recent mortality include rising sea level (most noticed on the Big Bend Coast of Florida), and Texas phoenix palm decline (TPPD) a phytoplasma currently found on the west coast of Florida.

Sabal palmettos, if not pruned, will not have the 'smooth' trunk typically seen with cultivated palms. Instead, the trunk will be completely covered in the stumps of the former fronds: these are called "boots". Only palms that have had the boots removed will show the commonly seen smooth trunk.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Sabal palmetto, Lodd. (Inodes Palmetto, Cook). Cabbage Palmetto. Trunk erect, lvs. 5-8 ft. long, cordate in outline, recurved at the summit, shorter than the petiole; segms. deeply cleft: spadix spreading, shorter than the lvs.: drupe black, 1/3 - 1/2 in. long. N. C. to Fla. and Bahamas.

—S. Mocinii, Hort., is referred to S. Palmetto by Voss, but Nehrling describes it as a stemless plant from Mex., more beautiful than the dwarf palmetto, bearing immense lvs. on strong stalks, the lvs. attaining a height of 6-8 ft. Others think S. Mocinii is the same as S. Blackburniana. S. Palmetto has been confused in the European trade with S. texana. Very commonly planted as a shade and avenue tree in the southern states.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

More information about this species can be found on the genus page.


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Sabal sp. Lisa:

Sabal lisa in Ft. Myers, Fl
Up close shot of Sabal lisa showing leaf character, distinct from that of Sabal Palmetto. Ft Myers, Fl
Recently, a new variety of Sabal palmetto has been discovered in South West Florida, Sabal sp. Lisa. The difference between the Sabal Lisa and the Sabal Palmetto in the leaf arrangement. The Sabal Lisa has costapalmate, acute, not pendulous, not filamentose, rigid, not strongly divided, cupped, slightly undulately leaves. This mutation of Sabal palmetto is beginning to be seen in the nursery trade, as it is just as hardy to cold, salt, drought, fire and wind as Sabal palmetto, yet looks more out of the ordinary. Two specimens can be seen in Ft. Myers, Fl at the intersection of Luckett Road and I-75, and many seed is collected and distributed from these specimens. Seeds from Sabal lisa have a 68% chance of becoming true to type, the other 32% develop as Sabal palmetto [2]


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