Sabal palmetto

Sabal palmetto

Sabal palmetto or cabbage palm is a very hardy palm tree.

Growth is very slow the first 8 to 10 years and thus can be quite expensive. It grows best in areas with warm summers.

Very polymorphic: can present huge morphological variations.

Description:

Sabal palmetto is a palm tree with a trunk up to 24 m high, light gray to tan.

The leaf crown is spherical, relatively small relative to the height in older specimens.

The leaves are deeply costapalmate and dark green.

The inflorescence is erected and recurved and protrudes above the leaf crown.

The fruit is round, black, about 13 mm in diameter and contains 1 seed.

Uses:

Honey production.
Trunks can be used in construction.
Fronds can be used for weaving.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Blue palmetto, cabbage palm, cabbage palmetto, cabbage-palm, Carolina palmetto, palmetto, Sabal palm

Synonyms:

Chamaerops palmetto, Corypha palmetto, Corypha umbraculifera, Inodes blackburniana, Inodes palmetto, Inodes schwarzii, Sabal bahamensis, Sabal blackburniana, Sabal jamesiana, Sabal palmetto var. bahamensis, Sabal parviflora, Sabal schwarzii, Sabal umbraculifera, Sabal viatoris

Etymology:

Sabal: local name for this palm tree
Palmetto: from the Spanish palmito (little palm tree)

Origin:

Bahamas, Cuba, south-east of the United States

Habitat:

Marshes, banks of streams and rivers, open pine forests, dunes along the coast

Hardiness:

USDA zone 8-11 (marginal in USDA zone 7)
Older specimens can tolerate -14 °C in good conditions

Care:

Soil:

Rich, does not need to be draining, tolerates saline conditions

Light:

Full sun or partial shade

Water:

Needs plenty of water, keep the substrate moist

Feed:

In the garden: organic matter of slow release fertilizer in spring.

In pot: weekly palm tree fertilizer till early summer

Propagation:

Sowing

Sowing instructions:

  • soak 1-2 days in lukewarm water
  • sow in moist sowing substrate
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination: 3-6 months

Image sources

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