So theoretically palms can be grown anywhere in the world as long as there is a sufficient micro climate?
This park is truly a Sabal pametto paradise. I know, there are plenty of parks in Florida with wild Sabal palmetto forests; however, there is something about the way nature presents itself here that keeps me coming back. These pictures were taken on Christmas Day of 2020. I have also seen Roystonea regia and Serenoa repens growing in the park as well.
So, I have always understood that Sabal species need to have a portion of their heel showing above the ground line when young. Other palm growers have told me this, and the Palmpedia entry for Sabal palmetto even says the same thing; namely, that “…this is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation” (http://www.palmpedia.net/wiki/Sabal_palmetto). I have always followed that advise for the Sabal species I have grown (S. palmetto, S. mexicana, S. minor, S. causiarum, and S. uresana), and I have kept a good portion on the heel above ground level (both planted in pots, and planted in the ground). I have had success in most cases; however, I have come to question the necessity of that “conventional wisdom” recently after a trip to visit my father in Cape Coral, Florida last Christmas. We went to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island for a hike and, while there, I paid close attention to the young Sabal palmetto palms that were growing all over the place. I must have inspected over 60 juveniles, ranging from new seedlings, to palm frond heights of 3 to 4 feet. I could not find one young Sabal palmetto that was showing a heel. Most of the juveniles without trunks had their petioles growing straight out of the ground (or sand as the case may be). Since they are growing wild in habitat, I figure this is how they normally grow. Below are a few pictures I snapped there depicting this. Do any of you have thoughts on the necessity of showing heels on your Sabal species?
There was a recent topic about IDing Sabal causiarum, that expanded to include other Sabals: palmetto & domingensis. I mentioned that my causiarum has prominent, papery ligules and the subject of ligules and other species of Sabal came up. Last night I photographed a number of palms on my world famous Sabal Row with a focus on which ones might have ligules. I posted the results below
Initial Photo: Sabal palmetto, front, Sabal causiarum, behind. Note the size disparity. I germinated the palmetto in 2008, planted it in 2009. I germinated the causiarum a few years later, so while it is several years younger than the rest of Sabal Row, it is by far the largest palm. The other large trunking Sabals have flowered for 3-4 years (we cut off their inflorescenses). The causiarum flowered for the first time in 2020. None of the much smaller palmettos has yet to flower at all.
Sabal causiarum: ligules circled. Another PTer informed us that not all causiarums have prominent ligules so I learned something new.
I choose the next two largest palms in Sabal Row. Their tags disappeared years ago but I suspect at least one of them might be Sabal domingensis or, perhaps, maritima. Maybe someone can settle their IDs. Both are quite large but no match for causiarum - and they are several years older. They have also flowered for the past several years. I found no significant ligules on either palm.
Sabal domingensis/maritima #1: no ligules
Sabal domingensis/maritima #2: no ligules
Photos below are of the three Sabal palmetto planted on Sabal Row. They were germinated in 2008, planted in 2009 but are midgets compared to the trunking giants around them. Sabal palmetto is the smallest of the trunking Sabals by far, the slowest growing and latest to flower for me. None of them has yet flowered.
Sabal palmetto #1: Are those little bits attached to the fibers just below the crown ligules? I think not but you decide for yourself.
Sabal palmetto #2: Even less
Sabal palmetto #3: No ligules
Looking fer Sabal etonia plants or seeds
Ed Brown ----