Sabal uresana

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Sabal (SAH-bahl)
uresana (oor-eh-SAH-nah)
Sabal uresana-TRVan Deven 2.jpg
Photo by Dr. Thomas Van Devender.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Sabal (SAH-bahl)
uresana (oor-eh-SAH-nah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate, with recurving leaf.
Survivability index
Common names
Sonoran Palmetto. Spanish – Palma blanca, Palma Azul, palma tacú, tacú.

Habitat and Distribution

An endemic palm, confined to the Sierra Madre Occidental. Mexico Northeast, Mexico
Photo by Dr. Thomas Van Devender.
Northwest. Range includes parts of Sinaloa and central Sonora, Mexico. Scattered in thorn forest and oak forest along watercourses.


Height: To about 25 to 30 feet. A key diagnostic character is that the petioles are smooth and extend well into the bluish leaf blades. Editing by edric.


Tolerates hot sun and dry winds. Cold Hardiness Zone: 8a

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Comments and Curiosities

Uses: The palm fronds were traditionally used for weaving baskets.

Conservation: Vulnerable.

A big and beautiful Sabal, impressive because of the silver blue color of its fan leaves. While it is locally common in the wild in the Sonora desert of Mexico, it is little used in cultivation both inside and outside that country, which is a great shame. The seeds germinate easily and quickly, growth is reasonably fast, and the plants are very adaptable to a wide range of climates and can even take severe frost. (

Sabal uresana is a stunning Sabal palmetto relative that hails from 3,000' elevation in the valleys and foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental in western Mexico. So far, Sabal uresana has performed well in some East Coast Zone 8 gardens, so it needs to be trialed further north. Sabal uresana is rather slow, but eventually (in your grandkids lifetime) makes a stunning 30' tall tree with costapalmate silvery-green leaves and a contrasting dark brown trunk. (

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

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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