Sabal causiarum with papery ligule

Puerto Rican Hat Palm (Paper Lingules)

Landscape Environment

Grow Region:

Origin: Puerto Rico

Drought Tolerance: High

Cold Tolerance: High

Salt Tolerance: Moderate

Soil: Not fussy at all

Light: Sunny


Mature Height: 40-50 feet

Trunk: grey, smooth, close rings, large diameter with saxophone shape at base , solitary

Leaf: 6 foot long, deeply folded and arched, 6 foot long, deeply folded and arched, 3-4 feet wide when folded

Leaf Petiole: wide, 6 foot or longer with unique and abundant papery ligule

Armature: no teeth but sharp margins

Color: Green

Flowers: Long with many branches hanging past leaves

Fruit: 1/2 inch, round, black when ripe

Human Uses: Stunning Specimen Tree


Subfamily: Coryphoideae

Tribe: Corypheae

Subtribe: Sabalinae

Item #: 5974-1
Availability: In Stock
In Stock Quantity: 81

The fronds of this heat loving palm reach an impressive height, expanding over 12 to 14 feet, even on relatively young specimens. The trunk is another story. Until reaching its full width of nearly 3 feet, the vertical growth creeps along at a slow to moderate 4-6 inches per year. In maturity, this tree finally takes off vertically and assumes a colossal, stately appearance.

The trunk retains its leaf bases for many years forming the Sabal's trademark crisscross pattern. 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 3-foot-wide column a large crown of especially long leaf stalks, or petioles, protrude 7 to 9 feet from the stem supporting 4 to 5 foot, deeply folded, light green, costapalmate leaves, radically arched along the costa for the last one third of the leaf, with wide segments that tend to droop toward the tips. This palm's powerful presence dominates any corporate power lawn - with a touch of tropical flare. It also makes an impressive statement planted in any residential yard - provided you have the space.

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 has abundant papery lingules.

Price: $110.00
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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

    The trunk grows vertically at just 5-6 inches per year for the first 10 years as the trunk fills into its massive girth, after which the trunk will grow at a faster pace eventually reaching 50 feet. The leaf is a different story, reaching a massive scale quickly relative to its stout young stem.


    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, 6 foot or longer with unique and abundant papery ligule wrapping around the persistent leaf bases. It is unarmed, with no teeth but sharp margins. Fruit from this species is 1/3 inch, round, black when ripe.