Gulfcoast Land Designs
Scientific Name: Sabel Palmetto
AKA: blue palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage
Identification: The Cabbage Palm is native to Florida and is also the state tree. Average heights reach 65 feet, while the tallest recorded being 92 feet tall. The trunks are up to 2 feet in diameter. The fronds are fan shaped, and the "leaves" extend outward radially from one long center "spine". Each fan can reach up to 6.5 feet long and will have up to 60 leaves or leaflets that can grow up to 2.6 feet long. Cabbage palms naturally have "boots" and act as a nutrient resource required for the palm to flourish. With age these boots will naturally fall off the tree. Some people prefer the boots be removed, but a word of advice, never remove the boots recently attached to green fronds.
Growing: Maintenance is easy. It's adaptable to many conditions and fairly cold hardy for short periods. Sabal palms are drought tolerant, yet could also handle being in a flood. It thrives with regular light watering and regular feeding. It is highly tolerant to salt water, yet does not tolerate standing salt water well.
Interesting: The Cabbage palm is where "hearts of palm" are cultivated from. A soft cabbage like food, yet when the cabbage like bud is removed from the tree, the tree will die.
Sabal Lisa: A recently emerging "mutant" of the true sabal palm, that is characterized by straighter, less divided leaflets among the fronds. Click on the image below to enlarge to see a Sabal Lisa.