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Gulf of Mexico Tidal Wetlands

A Photo Gallery of Florida's Big Bend Tidal Wetlands

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Ellen Raabe

Sabal Palm

Sabal palm group on beach
sabal palms
  Burned sabal palms
burned and "bootless" sabal palms

  Lone Sabal Palm
lone sabal palm
The sabal palm, Sabal palmetto, is Florida's state tree. It is commonly known as the cabbage palm. These palms can tolerate more salt water than other upland trees. They often persist long after oaks, cedar, and pine have died from tidal flooding.

The sabal palm takes several forms, depending on age, fire, and storm history. As the tree grows, old leaf bases may remain on the trunk. These old leaf bases are called "boots." The "boots" typically found on younger trees may be removed by fires or storms.

In spite of differences in shape and size, the sabal palm can be identified by the "curving" rib in the center of each frond. This lone sabal palm (at right) is surrounded by buttonwood, a mangrove species found in infrequently flooded sites.

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Coastal and Marine Geology Program > St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Gulf of Mexico Tidal Wetlands > Photo Gallery > Sabal Palm

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Updated January 04, 2013 @ 10:28 AM (THF)