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Common Name:

Palmetto Palm

Scientific Name:

Sabal palmetto

Family Name:

Palmae (Arecaceae)


The Palmetto Palm is fan palm (actually costapalmate) that reaches the size of a medium to large tree over time. Relatively slow growing, but very cold hardy for a palm. The state tree of Florida and South Carolina. Useful as a tropical accent, street tree (planted as a larger size), and popular in coastal landscapes. Probably useful in Texas in similar environments as Sabal mexicana. The Palmetto Palm is taller and thinner trunked than the Texas Palmetto.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree, tropical


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Creamy white, spring, not particularly ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Black berry-like fruit on long woody inflorescences


20 ft to 25 ft is typical in Texas landscapes, but can be much taller in Florida and the immediate Gulf Coast


8 ft to 10 ft crown spread, trunk to 1 ft 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:

Similarly adaptable as other Sabal spp., tolerating heat, drought, soil and foliar salts. Highly resistant to lethal yellows. USe can be stretched into protected parts of USDA zone 7b.
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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.