Sable palmetto vs Sable mexicana

17 posts in this topic

Is there any easy way to differentiate Sable palmetto from Sable mexicana?  Here in Texas, most nurserys have both and they are widely used in commercial landscaping, not so much in residential situations. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my (limited) experience, Sabal mexicana is a bit heftier as a mature palm, and the inflorescences are much shorter (see attached picture).

588806f07da54_ScreenShot2017-01-24at21.0

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what Ive seen, sabal mexicana has more in line boots while sabal palmetto boots are less organized and more jagged.  I assume palmetto grows taller while I could be wrong

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mexicana has a larger and open crown and the seed size is more than double the size. If properly watered and fed mexicana will have a much stouter trunk. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason I ask is that Sabal (sorry for misspelling it in the title) palms are naturalizing in a big way around here.  Almost all fence rows and other hard to mow areas have these guys volunteering, its really cool!  I've been curious if these are our native Mexican Sabals or introduced palmettos. I suspect there's probably some of both, though I admittedly can't tell one Sabal from another. The pic is from a ditch in front of the local fried chicken joint were 4 or 5 palms popped up. 

IMG_1602.JPG

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Mexicana has a larger and open crown and the seed size is more than double the size. 

I had a feeling they would have to be in flower to tell for sure. Maybe I can compare seeds next year and see if I can tell what's what. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMOH, if those produce seeds next year, they are probably S. minor.  If not, then I would guess that they are S. palmetto.  Seems to me that S. palmetto is more prevalent around the Houston area with S. mexicana not really kicking in until around Victoria or so.  But I could be wrong. :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Austinpalm said:

IMOH, if those produce seeds next year, they are probably S. minor.  If not, then I would guess that they are S. palmetto.  Seems to me that S. palmetto is more prevalent around the Houston area with S. mexicana not really kicking in until around Victoria or so.  But I could be wrong. :)

I agree. Trunking Sabal palmetto from florida has been trucked in by the thousands for most commercial landscaping in Houston. The only sabal mexicana i see around houston are in yards, or single/ pairs planted in front of small businesses. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my knowledge, S. minor doesn't exist around here.  We have tons of Sabals, but they are all introduced yet naturalizing quite rapidly.  I guess I didn't ask my question clearly.  How can I tell the difference between the two, assuming that they're some of both?  I snapped a picture of those little guys because I drive by them every day on my way to work, I promise they gonna get big! 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

I agree. Trunking Sabal palmetto from florida has been trucked in by the thousands for most commercial landscaping in Houston. The only sabal mexicana i see around houston are in yards, or single/ pairs planted in front of small businesses. 

I think you're right, one of our previous mayors had a real thing for Sabals and he planted them all over town. Most of them do look to be relatively thin trunked with a small canopy, so I bet they are palmettos from Florida. I'll try to post some pics this weekend.  Whatever they are they love it here  because the volunteers are coming up everywhere. I believe a local nursery had some mexicanas and as I recall they where much more robust. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is S. mexicana in Augusta, GA.  The seeds are huge compared with S. palmetto.  Bloom stalks are shorter than S. palmetto, but not as short as S. 'Riverside'.  S. mexicana has been slower growing for me.  Does anybody know if it prefers less acidic soil.  Maybe I should throw some lime around the palm and see what happens.

DSC_0012.jpg

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see also in last picture that hastula has less pronounced or absent theyellow color. Does this also apply on Sabal palmetto or is the situation different or is it a random feature overall? Generally speaking which Sabal spp have pronounced yellow hastula, provided that last case is of course excluded?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great topic for a thread, I try to pick out the differences btwn the 2. The palmettos doesn't seem to be as robust and spread as far as the mexicanas do. Sabal Mexicana is my favorite palm in Austin. Here's a shot from the back of Laguna Gloria looking up towards the villa. I'm not sure how old the palms are from here, but I'm growing the seeds I collected in the fall.

mex.jpg

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 1/25/2017, 11:38:30, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

Mexicana has a larger and open crown and the seed size is more than double the size. If properly watered and fed mexicana will have a much stouter trunk. 

Here's some seeds from what I think is Sabal Mexicana vs Sabal Palmetto. 

mexicana v palmetto.jpg

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2017, 12:28:32, Brian F. Austin said:

Great topic for a thread, I try to pick out the differences btwn the 2. The palmettos doesn't seem to be as robust and spread as far as the mexicanas do. Sabal Mexicana is my favorite palm in Austin. Here's a shot from the back of Laguna Gloria looking up towards the villa. I'm not sure how old the palms are from here, but I'm growing the seeds I collected in the fall.

mex.jpg

Nice pictures! I have noticed that Sabal mexicana fronds look more spred out from each other allowing you to kind of see the trunk part of the grown while Sabal palmetto crowns look bushier. Also Sabal mexicana fronds look a little thicker. Look at this picture of Sabal palmetto in Charleston, S.C. and during a rare snowfall! (Source: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1OPRB_enUS543US556&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=894&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=sc+state+house+palms&oq=sc+state+house+palms&gs_l=img.3...101012.102129.0.102273.6.6.0.0.0.0.278.726.4j1j1.6.0....0...1c.1.64.img..0.3.444...0j0i30k1j0i5i30k1j0i24k1.NKC9Qs36lds#imgrc=JFrmD2CrpicF2M:)

 

99d130dfca5ba009512c5877d1a44b0a.jpg

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the snow shot! Here is 2 photos of neighborhood Texas Sabals, they are impressive in size up close. I really like the solo tree with the skirt in the 2nd shot. I found just a few seeds from that tree.

The last photo is of what I think is a Sabal Palmetto, it's fairly diminutive in size compared to the Sabal Mexicanas. Almost Bonsai like. I don't know if that's due to genetics or environment. Those small seeds above were from this tree.

 

austin-mex1.jpg

austin-mex.jpg

palmetto.jpg

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After looking at lots of both, my take is that the 2 Sabals are kind of like the 2 Washies we see.  Palmettos are thin trunked, tall and graceful, like a robusta, whereas the texana is a stockier brute of a palm, more like a filifera with a larger canopy.  The difference is more pronounced with Washies, but I think I'm getting to where I can pick out S. texana from the ubiquitous palmettos planted around here.  I recently purchased a texana.  If it does well I may get another plus a palmetto as I love them both. 

IMG_0347.JPG

Edited by topwater
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now