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Common Name:

Texas Palmetto or Texas Sabal

Scientific Name:

Sabal mexicana

Family Name:

Palmae (Arecaceae)


Texas Palmettos can eventually become large palms, but are slow growers. They are somewhat shorter than Sabal palmetto but form a stouter more massive trunk. While native to extreme South Texas, they are cold hardy enough for use in all but extreme North Texas. An outstanding choice for a coarse tropical look, but leave room for full crown development and have patience.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree, tropical


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

White to creamy white, not particularly ornamental, fragrant

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Black berry-like fruit on a 2 ft to 8 ft long inflorescence


25 ft to 35 ft is typical, but can reach 50 ft in the wild


crown 10 ft to 15 ft, trunk to 2 ft in diameter

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

One of our most cold hardy tree-form palms, useful into protected portions of USDA zone 7b. Quite heat, salt, and wind tolerant once established.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.