Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

SABAL yapa

Image of Sabal yapa

James H. Schutte

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

SABAL yapa

Plant Common Name

Bay Palmetto, Huano, Thatch Palm

General Description

The bold, bluish-green fronds of this slender-trunked Sabal have strongly drooping leaflets, creating a cascading effect. It is native to deciduous forests and grasslands in southwestern Cuba, Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, usually occurring on alkaline soil. It grows slowly into a medium-sized palm.

The huge, arching, fan-shaped fronds are divided into 90 or more long, cascading, blade-like segments, that radiate like the spokes of an umbrella. The segments are joined in pairs for half their length. Fifteen to twenty fronds are borne atop the trunk on long, erect or inclined petioles, forming a rounded crown. A "skirt" of drooping older leaves sometimes fringes the base of the crown. Plants are initially stemless, developing a trunk after a few years. Trunks of young plants are cross-hatched with the protruding, wedge-shaped petiole bases ("boots") of fallen leaves. The gray trunk is horizontally ribbed with ring-like petiole scars. Large, upright clusters of small fragrant ivory flowers protrude from the crown in late spring or summer. Small fleshy globular fruits follow the flowers, ripening black. Bees visit the flowers, and birds and other wildlife eat the fruits.

Grow this palm in full sun to light shade and well-drained, moderately fertile, neutral to alkaline soil. Although drought tolerant, it grows most vigorously with summer irrigation. It tolerates a few degrees of frost. Use it individually as an accent, or group it in parks or along streets. Use plants of different heights for a dramatic, multi-tiered effect.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18'-22' / 5.5m - 6.7m

  • Width

    10'-11' / 3.0m - 3.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Mexico, Caribbean, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes