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Sabal Palmetto – Florida Official State Tree

The Sabal Palmetto (SAY-bul pal-MET-to) is the most northerly and abundant of the native tree palms. Native to nearly every county in Florida, this slow-growing palm can eventually reach 40 feet.

It is the official state tree of South Carolina and Florida. Florida designated the sabal palm (sabal palmetto) as the official state tree in 1953.

Currently, cabbage palms in areas of the state are dying, and experts believe that a type of bacteria called phytoplasma is to blame.

Sabal palmetto, also known as cabbage palm, palmetto, cabbage palmetto, palmetto palm, blue palmetto, Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, swamp cabbage and sabal palm … Has been widely used as both a landscape plant and as a food source; Hearts of palm are the bud of the tree.

Sabal Palmetto - Florida Official State Tree

Sabal Palmetto – Florida Official State Tree

Heart of palm, also called palm heart, chonta, palm cabbage or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees.

It is one of several palm species that is sometimes used to make heart of palm salad. Heart of palm was commonly eaten by Aboriginal Americans.

Swamp cabbage is an old time Florida Cracker favorite vegetable. A popular way to use it is to slice and place the think pieces into a tossed salad. A pinch or spoonful of guava paste adds the final touch.

However, extracting the heart will kill this species of palm because the terminal bud is the only point from which the palm can grow new leaves.

Cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto), the state tree of Florida, is cut down for making decorations from the palm fronds for parade floats and booths at the LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival that is held every year on the last full weekend in February in LaBelle at Barron Park.

The Festival, honoring the Cabbage Palm in Hendry county Florida, is one of Southwest Florida’s major events with some 25,000 people flooding the streets of LaBelle every February.

Experiments with this species has been done all the way to USDA Zone 5, which has confirmed USDA hardiness zone 8a without protection, although with proper care it can be grown in zone 7.

The cabbage palm is mostly suitable for USDA zones 8 to 10 … fitting perfectly into USDA Zone 9b Florida!

Sabal palmetto

Sabal palmetto

Sabal palmetto is a popular landscape plant known for its tolerance of salt spray and cold.

Maintenance of the Cabbage Palm tree is very easy and very adaptable. The Cabbage Palm is known to tolerate drought, standing water and brackish water.

Want to see more ‘official’ Florida state flora symbols? CLICK HERE

These sturdy native palm trees are at home in just about any planting location. Do you have Florida’s state tree, Cabbage Palm, growing in your USDA zone 9b landscape? Share your Sabal Palmetto comments …

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