Species Identification - Plants

Cabbage Palmetto, Sabal Palmetto - Arecaceae sanal

Family: Palm


Description: The state tree of South Carolina, the Cabbage or Sabal Palmetto grows up to 65 feet with some as high as 90 feet. It is a type of fan palm. It has yellowish-white flowers that are .2 inches across, occurring in large clusters up to 8 feet across. Its fruit is a black drupe about a half inch long with a single seed. The tree is tolerant of salt, drought, and cold, and it is resistant to fire, floods, and high winds. Its terminal bud has been eaten as hearts of palm, although extraction kills the tree; the bristles of young leaves have been made into scrub brushes; and the trunks have been used for wharf piles. Tasting a little like cabbage, its terminal bud has been eaten as hearts of palm.

Range: Sabal Palmetto is native to the subtropical Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the US as well as Cuba and the Bahamas.

Photos by Carl Berube

Site LogoHelp us keep Hunting Island State Park a special place

We need only two things to provide the services and projects you see described on this website: your participation and your tax-deductible membership fees. For one $40 membership contribution, you and your family can join Friends of Hunting Island and have unlimited access to the park for one year. All members are encouraged to participate in any of our on-going projects. If you do not wish to join, but want to donate to our efforts, click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Friends of Hunting Island.