Because of its beauty and versatility the cabbage palm is at the top of my list of favorite palms. It is a large robust palm with a single unbranching trunk that grows to about 50 ft (15.2 m) but may occassionally reach heights of 70 ft (21.3 m). The crown is relatively small being 12-18 ft (3.7-5.5 m) in diameter. Like many palms the crown is typically wider when grown in shade and more compact when grown in full sun.
The large leaves have a dull finish and are a medium green, sometimes yellow-green, in color depending on the individual and situation. Each leaf is up to 12 ft (3.7 m) long overall including the spineless petioles (leaf stems) which measure about 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) in length. They are up to 6 ft (1.8 m) in width with drooping leaf segments about 3 ft (0.9 m) long and 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) wide. These segments are split to about half the width of the leaf and typically slough off tan fibers at the edges. Cabbage palm leaves are said to be costapalmate meaning that the leaflets are arranged on the stem in a pattern that is midway between palmate (leaflets arranged like the fingers on the palm of your hand) and pinnate (feather shaped).
Culture Sabal palmetto is very salt and drought tolerant and can be used in beachside plantings. It is able to adapt to most types of soil. Cabbage palms are easy to transplant if they have at least six feet of trunk. Commercially the palmetto is dug from the wild and all of the leaves are cut from the trunk (care is taken not to damage the tender bud). All of the roots are cut back as well (damaged sabal die anyway and new ones grow directly from the trunk). A new planting of sabals looks like a garden of telephone poles from a distance! If the telephone poles are kept watered they will soon put forth new roots and leaves within a few months. It's recommended that new trees be staked or otherwise supported until established - especially in windy beachfront situations. Light Full sunlight to some shade. Trunk development is suppressed in heavily shaded specimens. Moisture Very adaptable. Average moisture will do. Tolerates drought, standing water and brackish water. Hardiness USDA Zones 8-10. This is a hardy frost tolerant palm that can survive many degrees below freezing. Propagation Collect seeds from trees in late fall and early winter. Plant the seeds any time, they will generate over a period of time from 2 to 12 months. Mature specimens are commercially obtained from natural plantings. Transplanting specimens without trunks is seldom successful.
Aventura Nursery and Landscape, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org 10079 County Line Rd. Spring Hill, FL 34608 18332 Ayers Rd. Brooksville, FL 34604 (352) 799-3200 (352) 799-3260