Pic of the Day – Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island, NC form)

This specimen was 2' tall when planted in 2008.

This specimen was 2′ tall when planted in 2008.

Sabal palmetto ranges from Florida to southeastern North Carolina.  It is the main trunked palm of the southeast US and the state tree of South Carolina.  This form is from the northernmost native stand of palmettos on Bald Head Island off the coast of Wilmington, NC.  It has proven to be one of the hardiest selections available, surviving to 6 F (-14 C) once established with no problem.  It can grow to 35′-40′ tall over time with a stout trunk and folded (costapalmate) fronds.  This plant enjoys a sunny, well-drained spot.  Transplanting palms can be confusing with some surviving easilyand others dying immediately.  Sabal palmetto and some other palms will only transplant well as field or garden grown plants if they are mature – generally about 10′ of clear trunk with fronds cut off for Sabal palmetto.  Palmetto roots die back when cut and will not grow new roots unless the plant is mature.  Large transplanted specimens should be kept well hydrated and fronds trimmed back until new roots grow.  For most gardeners, small (3g for best survivability) container grown plants are probably the best option.  Make sure to avoid cultivating around the base of palmettos too much as this will cut the roots.

Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island form) in the foreground with Butia capitata in the back.

Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island form) in the foreground after almost 2 years in the ground with Butia capitata in the back.

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One thought on “Pic of the Day – Sabal palmetto (Bald Head Island, NC form)

  1. Pingback: Serenoa repens | Find Me A Cure

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