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Sabal Palm Sabal mexicana (Sabal texana)


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Sabal Palm
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Alternate name: Rio Grande Palmetto, Mexican Palm, Texas Palmetto

Family: Arecaceae, Palm view all from this family

Description This is usually a stout tree to 50 ft. tall, with a trunk to almost 3 ft. in diameter. Large, blue-green, fan-shaped leaves, up to 3 ft. wide, are divided into many palmate segments. The leaf stalk is stout, equally or exceeding the leaf in length. Dark purple fruits hang in showy clusters.

Habitat Cities, suburbs & towns, Swamps (fresh & salt), Watersides (fresh).

Range Texas.

Comments Slow-growing. Hard to transplant after it's a foot tall because of large root system. Trunk doesn't begin to appear until the tree is at least 10 years old.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial shade.

Native Distribution Along the Rio Grande River

Site Preference Bottomlands

Soil Preference Moist soils.

Wildlife Value These trees are sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife.