The Florida Palmetto, also known as the Sabal Palmetto, Sabal Palm, Cabbage Palm, Cabbage Palmetto, Palmetto Palm or just Palmetto is an official tree of Florida. It is the most widely distributed tree throughout the state. The Florida Palmetto was named the official state tree in 1953. It has been represented on the State Flag and the State Seal.
The Sabal palm is also the official state tree of South Carolina (since 1939), is hereby often called the Carolina Palmetto.
The Sabal palm occurs in the southern part of the United State: Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia and Hawaii. It is a popular cultivated tree in the Bahamas and Cuba.
The Florida Palmetto has many uses. American Indians ate the leaf bud (the heart of the palm). It resembles a cabbage head and has a taste of an artichoke. The leaf bud can be eaten raw as a salad or cooked. They also used Palmetto leaves for thatching and making hats, baskets and brooms.
The Sabal Palmetto can grow up to 90 feet in height, but usually is seen smaller about 50-60 feet. It has a rounded crown of palmately compound, costapalmate, deep olive green fronds. The trunk is sturdy, rough and covered with old leaf bases. The tree bears large, four foot long, branched clusters of small creamy to white flowers. The fruits are round, fleshy and black. Birds, raccoons and squirrels eat the fruits.
The Cabbage palm is an extremely tough tree. It is cold hardy, salt and hurricane resistant, and drought tolerant.
The website www.floridapalmetto.com contains the following articles:
|Florida Palmetto Appearance||Florida Palmetto Care|
|Florida Palmetto Landscaping Uses||Florida Palmetto Habitat|