Riverside, CA Sabal
Origin: Riverside, CA
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerance: High - 11 to 12F
Salt Tolerance: High
Light: Full Soil
Mature Height: about 40 feet
Trunk: Ringed , Solitary
Leaf: Large fronds, deeply costapalmate, arched and deeply folded, sometimes drooping near tips
Leaf Petiole: 7-8 feet long, robust, sharp along margins
Flowers: Long cream yellow, extending beyond leaves
Fruit: small black fruit, about half the size of the S. mexicana or S. causiarum
Human Uses: Specimen Tree
Sabal Riverside and Sabal Mexicana
The photo to the right shows a Sabal riverside in the foreground and a Sabal mexicana background left. There are some noteable distinctions between these two palms. We welcome any feedback or advice regarding the accuracy of our identification.
The growing conditions of these palms should be noted, as their grow environment can reach 113 degrees during the summer, and sub-freezing during the winter. The soil conditions are a loam to clay soil, and they recieve regular water. Both these palms were recently trimmed.
The S. mexicana and S. riverside have a similar trunk width, though the S. riverside is a few inches wider and grows vertically a bit faster. With that said, their growth rate is similar, about 12-14 inches per year.
Coloration of fibrous sheath:
The leaf bases of the S. mexican retain a dirty brown spindly, fibrous sheath that covers part of the leaf base split, compared to the attractive redish-brown, almost finely woven split leaf bases of the S. riverside. The Riverside's redish sheath is also a characteristic of the S. bermudana and S. domingensis, lending to the idea that the S. riverside is a hybrid of one of these palms and the S. mexicana. Given the length of the petioles, the more likely candidate is the S. bermudana.
Leaf Segments and petiole:
Leaf segments of the S. mexicana are wider, not as deeply divided and tend to remain firm at the tips, compared to thinner S. riverside segments, which are more deeply divided and slightly drooping near the ends. The petioles of each palm are similarly long, at least 7-9 feet, with a crown exceeding the size of the S. palmetto. The width of the petioles on the S. riverside are smaller than the S. mexicana.
The coloration of the leaf bases of the S. mexican have a deep green color, whereas the S. riverside leaf bases are dull green. With sun exposure and time they will fade to a tan, grey color. Likewise, the petiole and leaf coloration on the S. mexicana is a much deeper hue of green than the S. riverside.
The fruit and seed size remains highly distinguishable, with the S. riverside seed closer to 11-12mm in diameter and the S. mexicana about half that size, at a mere 4-5mm. This poses a bit of an identification problem for the S. mexicana. While the seeds have a simlar shape, flattened at the top, the S. mexicanas are widely understood to have a 10-14mm diameter. It's possible that our stock of S. mexicanas are a hybrid of the S. yapa, or S. minor, that have similarly small 4-5mm sized seeds.