Sabal rosei

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Sabal (SAH-bahl)
rosei (ROH-zee)
Northern Nayarit, Mexico. Photo by growin.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Sabal (SAH-bahl)
rosei (ROH-zee)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate, with recurving leaf.
Survivability index
Common names
Savannah palmetto, Llanos palmetto

Habitat and Distribution

Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest. Found in tropical deciduous forests to 2,500'
About 60 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, around 1000' above sea level, near Tomatlán, Mexico.
elevation from Culiacan south to Guadalajara.


Leaves deeply recurved and costapalmate. Mature height: 48', Mature spread: 18'. Green with a tight compact crown, and fairly slender trunk. Very attractive leaf base pattern on trunk. (PSNCC)

Slender palm 15m tall, trunk 15-30 cm in diameter breast high gray, smooth, leaves 10-30 evenly green, strongly costapalmate, filiferous, petioles 1.8-2.4 cm wide, 1-2 m long, hastula acute 5.1-7.0 cm long, glabrescent (often with lepidote pubescence on adaxial surface of midveins), margin of hastula flat and undulate, occasionally revolute, involute, or erect, segments 60-80 per leaf connate for 25% of their length, middle segment 55-110 cm long, 2.3-4.3 cm wide, 0.2-0.3 mm thick, apex bifurcate for 30-40 cm (rarely undivided), fruit oblate spheroidal, greenish brown black, medium to thick pericarp 15.3-22.4 mm in diameter, 13.5-20.1 mm high, seed strongly oblate concave, 10-15.5 mm in diameter, 6.4-8.7 mm high. (Eric S. botanist, H.P. Lou Gardens, Orlando, FL.) Editing by edric.


Cold Hardiness Zone: 8b. Cold Tolerance: 20° F

Comments and Curiosities

This is a tillering palm, it exhibits saxophone style root growth (it has a heel), keep top third of heel above soil elevation!

Color Flower Color: near white.

Flowers Bloom Period: april.

Habit Habit: evergreen.

Propagation Culture: space 4-6' apart.

Size Size: 15-20' tall.

Sun Sun Exposure: full sun.

Temperature Cold Hardiness: 8b.

Hight: 15-20' tall.

"Grows well in Augusta, GA., but is more prone to scale than some of the other Sabals. Produces seed at a young age. The greenest of the Sabals." (Joe Le Vert)

"One of the more slender species, from Mexico, with relatively narrow, wedge shaped, markedly costapalmate leaves. Grows up to 45' tall, but usually shorter. Slow palm and not one of the more ornamental species, or commonly grown in cultivation." (Geoff Stein)

S. pumos and S. rosei are VERY similar. You'll need fruits and seeds to see the difference. They are both beautiful palms, so whatever you have, it will be nice! (Dr. Scott Zona)

from western Mexico where it is relatively common. The slim, straight trunk is either covered with a beautiful spiral pattern of small 'pegs' (the old leaf bases), or devoid of them altogether; in which case, there are clear scars where the old leaves have fallen. The slimness of the trunk imparts a somewhat heavy aspect to the spherical crown of strongly costapalmate, dark green leaves. Sabal rosei is easy to sprout and a fast and reliable grower. It can be successfully cultivated in nearly any climate, from temperate to tropical; it tolerates some drought; looks good even under coastal exposure; and will tolerate quite serious frosts. (

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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