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A painfully slow grower, this tree has a massive, stately appearance in maturity. Its trunk features persistent leaf bases that form the trademark crisscross pattern of the Sabal palm. Denuded of leaf bases, the mature trunk is ringed but relatively smooth, with the physique of a Roman column, or more germane to Southern California, the pillar of a highway overpass. Upon this 4 foot wide column a large crown of especially long leaf stalks, or petioles, protrude 7 to 9 feet from the stem supporting deeply folded, light green, costapalmate leaves, often radically arched in the middle for the last one third of the leaf, with wide segments that tend to droop toward the tips. This palms powerful presence dominates any corporate power lawn and adds a more tropical flare than the P. canarinses. It also makes an impressive addition if you have a bit of acreage.
There are many species of Sabals, and they can be quite difficult to distinguish from one another, in part because they so easily hybridized through cross breading. At the Grove we have two varieties of the S. causiarum, one with an abundance for papery lingules wrapping the petioles, the other with scarcely any. This version lacks the papery lingules.
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Clear Trunk Height:
How we measure palms
Conditions for Growth
The tree excels in the loam soil of the Riverside Grove, grown in full sun with intense heat (an good irrigation) during the summer and cold nights during the winter.
Growth Rate and Size
A painfully slow grower, the trunk increase vertically at just 5-6 inches per year for the first 10 years as it fills into a massive girth, after which the trunk will grow at a faster pace eventually reaching 50 feet. The leaf is a different story, reaching its a massive scale quickly.
The Sabal causiarum has a solitary trunk covered with persistent sheath split fiberous bases showing and when mature and/or free of leaf bases reveal a grey, smooth, close rings, massive diameter with saxophone shape at base stem pattern. The leaf is 6 feet long, deeply folded and arched, 3 feet wide (folded) and about 4 feet long , costapalmate, deep green with induplicate splitting along adaxial ridges. The petiole is wide, 7, 8 feet or longer. It is unarmed, with no teeth but sharp margins. Flowers are cream white-yellow and reach out on multi-bract inflorescence, and are quite the attraction for bees happy to aid in their pollination. Fruit from this species is 1/3 inch, round, black when ripe.