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Sabal mexicana (Texas palm)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Sabal mexicana

Sabal mexicana Mart.

Texas Palm, Texas Palmetto, Mexican Palm, Mexican Palmetto, Rio Grande Palmetto, Victoria Palmetto, Palma De Micharos, Apachite

Arecaceae (Palm Family)

Synonym(s): Inodes exul, Inodes texana, Sabal exul, Sabal texana

USDA Symbol: same8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This is usually a stout tree to 50 ft. tall, with a trunk to almost 3 ft. in diameter. Large, blue-green, fan-shaped leaves, up to 3 ft. wide, are divided into many palmate segments. The leaf stalk is stout, equally or exceeding the leaf in length. Dark purple fruits hang in showy clusters.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 50 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


Native Distribution: Along the Rio Grande River in south Texas, south to Central America. Possibly ranged as far north as San Antonio in historic times.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Very slow-growing, beautiful tree. The dark purple fruit is showy and attractive to wildlife. Difficult to transplant after it's a foot tall because of its large root system. The trunk doesn't begin to appear until the tree is at least 10 years old. Use this native palm to add a tropical look to your landscape.


Use Ornamental: Aromatic, Winter-hardy, Accent tree or shrub
Use Wildlife: These trees are sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife.
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Fresh seeds require no pretreatment but germination will be better with stratification. Seeds require a moist, muddy seedbed.
Seed Treatment: Stratify 30 days at 38 degrees
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Tohono Chul Park, Inc. - Tucson, AZ
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sabal mexicana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sabal mexicana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sabal mexicana


Record Modified: 2023-01-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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