Several days ago I received a request for an update on our world famous Sabal Row. But first, some background. I joined PalmTalk and IPS in Jan. 2008 and soon decided I wanted to germinate palm seeds. I chose (and recommend) the Sabal genus for beginning palm growers. Sabal palmetto is FL's State Tree and ubiquitous and I managed to beg, buy and barter Sabals domingensis and maritima. From early 2008 into 2009 I germinated a slew of seedlings. A quick tangent: In 2003 during the housing bubble, some HGTV rejects decided to build a spec home four lots east of our little cottage. Then that spec home bounced through a series of flippers, sustained roof damage in Hurricane Charley and thereafter sat empty and abandoned year after year until well into the housing bust. I looked across the vacant lot next door at that never-lived-in stack of cinder blocks and decided to plant my side of the vacant lot with Sabal seedlings to block views at and from that abandoned edifice. What you see in the following photos grew up since 2009 (the house sold in 2010; the neighbors are nice people). None of these palms are technically mine but I hope if anyone ever builds there, they appreciate privacy as much as we.
Note: Sabals domingensis and maritima are really large palms. Sabal palmetto is the smallest trunking Sabal and one of the slowest growing. Sabal causiarum is a total behemoth. I added a seedling one to the Row after the others and it dwarfs them all.
Sabal Row, March 2020, Cape Coral, FL
Sabal Trunks x3: Palm on left is S. palmetto. Other two may be domingensis and maritima (ID tags disappeared long ago)
Sabal maritima (left), Sabal palmetto (right) - Same age but look at size differential.
Opposite view: Sabal palmetto (right) and Sabal maritima (left)
Sabal palmetto Trunk
Sabal maritima trunk
I germinated the little stemless Sabal in the photos below 11+ years ago from seeds sent to me as "Sabal etonia." My recollection is that these seeds came from a generous PTer in Europe, which complicates matters more than a bit but I was eager to find seeds of S. etonia to test my germination skills. This is the only remaining palm from that lot of seedlings. As I have never met a Sabal etonia in the flesh, I have assumed for years mine is a true etonia. But now I wonder if it might not be a Sabal minor and a "uber dwarf" minor at that. For a Sabal that may be nearly 12 years old, it has remained remarkably tiny: 24" tall by 30" wide. It flowers yearly and produces fewer than 100 fairly small seeds. Its leaves are green but show occasional blue hints and are almost flat. Sabal minor has flat leaves while Sabal etonia leaves are quite costapalmate.
Please study the photos and help me decide which stemless Sabal this guy is.
By The Steve
I’ve been growing these up for a few years now, and I was wondering how much longer before I can start to spot the true lisas. I’m thinking that I’ll need to pot them up to one gallons. Thoughts?
I'm not sure if this belongs in the weather/climate section, but I read this phenomenon occurs after extended periods without rain and little/no wind allowing the natural oils to develop on the surface of the water. I captured these photos recently at a local swamp.
This afternoon while walking the Piedmont Trail (off Strawberry Road) in Greensboro, I stumbled upon a couple dozen or more sabal minors growing in a swampy area parallel to Lake Brandt. There were volunteers coming up everywhere, along with several older palms. My guess is somebody threw some seeds along the trail or planted a couple and they reproduced. Greensboro is around 80 miles west of the fall line, so pretty far away from the native range of dwarf palmettos. Here are some pictures I took:
I also saw some of what I think are Southern Magnolias coming up. Here they are: