Sabal Palm : Sabal Palmetto
The Sabal Palm is an official tree of Florida. It can be found in seacoast woodlands, swamps, coastal marches, beach swales and sandy dunes in the Sunshine State. This tree is very cold hardy and salt tolerant. You can see a lot of these palms on the Atlantic ocean coast. The Sabal palm is commonly used as an ornamental and street tree.
Scientific name: Sabal Palmetto
Other names: Cabbage Palm, Palmetto, Cabbage Palmetto. It is commonly called the Cabbage Palm because the terminal bud (heart) is edible, resembling a cabbage head. Native Americans ate large leaf buds as a cabbage salad. It has a taste of an artichoke. Removal of the bud kills a palm.
Origin: It is native to the southeastern United States, Cuba and the Bahamas Islands.
Growth rate: It is a slow growing palm.
Trunk: The upper part of the trunk is rough, fibrous and covered with old leaf bases, and the lower part is smooth. Old leaf bases persist for several years on the trunk, then they dry and slough off the tree. Some of them never loose “boot” fronds. The trunk can grow to a height of 60-80 feet tall. At young age it doesn’t have a trunk.
Leaves: The leaves are costapalmate, strong, bearing threadlike fibers between segments, arching backwards, green or yellow-green in color.
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Both
Light exposure: It likes full sun or light shade.
Water requirements: It requires regular watering.
Drought toleration: It is drought tolerant.
Cold toleration: It is very cold hardy. It can survive temperature about 7 F.
Flowers: The trees produce tiny, yellow-white, fragrant flowers in late spring or early summer. They droop in long clusters among the leaves.
Fruits: Sabal palms develop fruits in the fall. They are round, black drupes. Birds, raccoons and squirrels eat the fruits.
Propagation: It is propagated from seed. Germination occurs within 2-3 months.
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