Mexican Sabal Palm

Sabal mexicana

Texas Sabal Palm, Mexican Sabal Palm, Rio Grande Palmetto; Palma de Micharos

About This Plant

Full sun. Evergreen, with fan-shaped leaves threaded along the margins. Mexican sabal is a tall-growing, single-trunked palm with purplish fruit in autumn. The arching leaf stems are smooth, without the sharp spines of many palms. The trunk is stocky and robust. Carolina cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) is similar, but Mexican sabal is shorter and stockier, with much longer, arching leaf stalks. Mexican sabal prefers moist soil, especially when newly planted; once the root system is established, it can tolerate wind and drought. It is slow growing, now found in Texas only in remnant groves along the Rio Grande Valley. The trunk takes about ten years to begin to appear.

Origins: Rio Grande Valley and Mexico


None needed. Skirts of dead leaves will encircle the trunk. Bootjacks are the remnants of leaf bases, forming a spiky basket-weave; eventually these all fall off, leaving a smooth trunk.

Large palm native to south Texas and the coast. Best grown when very young as all sabals are difficult to transplant.

Min. Height: 30'

Max Height: 40 feet'

Min. Width: 15'

Max Width: 18 feet'

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