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Sabal palmetto
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Arecales
Family: Arecaceae
Subfamily: Coryphoideae
Tribe: Corypheae
Subtribe: Sabalinae
Genus: Sabal
Type species
Sabal adansonii Guers.[2]

See text.


Inodes O.F.Cook[3]

Sabal is a genus of New World palms, many of the species being known as palmetto, a loanword from Spanish language for Chamaerops humilis (palmito). They are fan palms (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves with a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets; in some of the species, the leaflets are joined for up to half of their length. A variable portion of the leaf petiole may remain persistent on the trunk for many years after leaf fall leaving the trunk rough and spiky, but in some, the lower trunk loses these leaf bases and becomes smooth. The fruit is a drupe.[4]

Sabal species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Paysandisia archon.

The species are native to the subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, from the Gulf coast/South Atlantic states in the USA south through the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America to Colombia and Venezuela in northern South America.

Selected species[edit]

Formerly placed here[edit]


Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants and because several species are relatively cold-hardy, can be grown farther north than most other palms. The central bud of Sabal species is edible and known as heart of palm. The trees are grown commercially for this product, particularly in Brazil. Hearts of palm are occasionally available fresh and whole, but are usually sold cut in pieces and canned.


  1. ^ Michel Adanson (1763). Familles des plantes. 2. pp. 495, 599. 
  2. ^ "Sabal Adans.". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  3. ^ "Sabal Adans.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-10-15. Retrieved 2010-04-12. 
  4. ^ "Sabal Adanson ex Guersent, Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societe Philomatique. 87: 205-206. 1804". Flora of North America. eFloras. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  5. ^ a b Manchester, Steven R. (1994). "Fruits and seeds of the Middle Eocene Nut Beds Flora, Clarno Formation, Oregon". Palaeontographica Americana 58: 1–205. 
  6. ^ "Subordinate taxa of Sabal Adans.". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Sabal". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  • Zona, Scott (1990). "A monograph of Sabal (Arecaceae: Coryphoideae)". Aliso 12: 583–666. 

External links[edit]