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SABAL palmetto 'Lisa'

Image of Sabal palmetto 'Lisa'

James Burghardt



Botanical Name

SABAL palmetto 'Lisa'

Plant Common Name

Lisa Cabbage Palm, Lisa Sabal Palm

General Description

Bringing a new look to a familiar plant, 'Lisa' bears fronds that are stiffer and less divided than those of other cabbage palms. As with more typical forms of the species, its bold fan-shaped leaves, its stout straight wind-resistant trunk, and its exceptional cold hardiness make it a beautiful and adaptable landscape plant. A slow-growing, medium-sized palm, Florida cabbage palm is native to the Southeast United States from coastal North Carolina to Florida, and also occurs on the Bahamas. This cultivar derives from a cultivated specimen in Fort Myers, Florida.

The immense, deep green, evergreen fronds are divided into approximately 20 bold, broad, lance-shaped segments. The fronds are borne atop the trunk on long, erect or arching petioles, forming a compact, rounded crown. A "skirt" of drooping older leaves sometimes fringes the base of the crown. Plants are initially trunkless, developing a trunk at about 10 years old. Trunks of young plants and the upper trunks of older specimens are cross-hatched with the protruding, wedge-shaped petiole bases ("boots") of fallen leaves. Epiphytic plants such as Spanish moss sometimes grown in the boots. Typically, the petiole bases eventually detach, leaving ring-like scars on the gray trunk. Some older specimens may retain their boots to the base of the trunk. Large, arching, branching clusters of small fragrant ivory flowers appear within the crown in late spring or summer, followed by small oval fleshy fruits that ripen black. Bees visit the flowers, and birds and other wildlife eat the fruits.

Grow Florida cabbage palm in full to partial sun in any almost any soil - damp or dry, acidic or alkaline. Plants grow faster and develop a trunk earlier in moist relatively fertile soil. This palm fares poorly in cool summers or cold wet winters. Use it to line an avenue or to create a tropical grove or accent. Remove only brown leaves from the canopy; this palm withstands hurricane winds and does not benefit from "hurricane pruning."

This cultivar is most commonly propagated via container-grown seedlings. Trunked specimens can be transplanted when soils are warm, following removal of the fronds and roots.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20'-50' / 6.1m - 15.2m (35)

  • Width

    12'-22' / 3.7m - 6.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color


  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture


  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Attracts


  • Self-Sowing