Sabal bermudana

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Sabal (SAH-bahl)
bermudana (behr-moo-DAHN-ah)
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Matheson Hammock in Miami-Dade County in Coral Gables. Photo by Kyle Wicomb.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Sabal (SAH-bahl)
bermudana (behr-moo-DAHN-ah)
Sabal princeps (1909), Sabal beccariana (1940)
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Pinnate
Survivability index
Common names

Habitat and Distribution

Sabal bermudana is endemic to Bermuda. This tree is found island-wide in upland and
Los Angeles arboretum, CA. Photo by Geoff Stein.
coastal forests and freshwater marsh habitats. It does well in most situations and habitats, except the most salty, and makes a nice garden tree. This is the only palm species indigenous to Bermuda; all others were introduced.


Sabal bermudana grows up to 25 m (82 ft) in height, with the occasional old tree growing up to 30 m (98 ft) in height, with a trunk up to 55 cm (22 in) in diameter. It is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves with a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets. Each leaf is 1.5–2 m (4.9–6.6 ft) long, with 45-60 leaflets up to 75 cm (30 in) long. The flowers are yellowish-white, 5 mm (0.20 in) across, produced in large panicles up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long, extending out beyond the leaves. The fruit is a deep brown to black drupe about 1 cm (0.39 in) long containing a single seed. It is extremely salt-tolerant and is often seen growing near the Atlantic Ocean coast in Bermuda, and also frost-tolerant, surviving short periods of temperatures as low as -14 °C, although it will never get that cold in Bermuda. Editing by edric.

Sabal bermudana is a slow growing evergreen palm tree with a single stem. Its mid green leaves are arranged in a fan shape composed of up to 60 leaflets and up to 2 m long. Each leaflet is up to 1 m long. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 55 cm. Its yellow/ white flowers are up to 5 mm across and are arranged in panicles which are up to 2.5 m long. Its dark brown/ black fruit is a drupe and is up to 1cm long.


A very easy and adaptable palm that will grow in temperate areas just as well as in the tropics and can take a good amount of frost and cold. Cold Hardiness Zone: 9a. Reported little damage to -10 C.

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Comments and Curiosities

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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