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Sabal pumos

Royal Palmetto

One of the few palmettos that seems to prefer somewhat higher altitudes and does not occur on the plains at sea level. In its native range in central Mexico, it is found at elevations between 600 and 1300 m (2000 and 4300 ft.), growing in a zone between dry deciduous forest and oak forest. Like many Sabal, it also thrives on cultivated land, where it is tolerated because its large leaves are useful for thatching. It is a large, imposing species with a big crown of strongly costapalmate leaves, supported by a comparatively slim trunk to 20 m (66 ft.) tall, which is covered with the old, split bases of fallen leaves in younger trees. One of the most obvious distinguishing characteristics of this palmetto is the size of its fruits and seeds, which are considerably larger than those of any other species in the genus. The fruits are edible with a date-like flavor. The Royal Palmetto adapts easily to cultivation and does well in most temperate climates. It is resistant to drought and, despite its home in the mountains, can take some coastal exposure. Botanically, Sabal pumos has many unspecialized features and may be a relict that has been conserved in the hills of central Mexico since the last ice age, when the cold forced many plants to retreat further south towards the tropics.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soaked for one day then planted directly into moist pine potting medium in a foam fruit box in full sun in late spring. Covered with thin layer of sphagnum and shade cloth over the box. Around 60% germination within one month.
Submitted on 10/08/2007 by one of our visitors

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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