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.
The leaf bases of the S. mexican retain a dark 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.
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.
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. mexicana seed closer to 11mm in diameter and the S. riverside about half that size, at a mere 5mm. The seeds have a simlar shape, flattened at the top.