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Palmetto

Sabal palmetto

Description:

This is a spotting close to my heart. Palmetto trees on the shores of Cocoa Beach, Florida. The palmetto is the state tree of South Carolina, my home state, as well as the state tree of Florida. These are some very tall and very smooth trunked specimens. Palmetto tend to be well known for their y-shaped basketweave spikes on their trunks, which are actually the bases of shorn or died off leaves. These spikes are known as "bootjacks". Taller specimens like these have lost their bootjacks, which is a natural but not well understood phenomenon. The trunks have no abscission zone so the loss of these leaf bases is due to some other biological phenomenon. The sabal palmetto is also very salt tolerant, being common along beachfronts and other brackish areas.

Habitat:

Native and introduced through the US from the coasts of California all the way across the South as far up as the coast of Rhode Island. Also found on all islands of Hawaii.

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2 Comments

The GeoDex
The GeoDex 10 months ago

Very interesting! Global warming impacts our environment in so many ways we don't realize.

tomk3886
tomk3886 10 months ago

Here along the Gulf Coast. I live near the Big bend. There is an extensive salt marsh between the hardwood forest and the Gulf of Mexico. At the edge of the hardwoods there is a zone of these palms growing in the salt marsh. In recent years they have been dying off. There are mostly dead palms in this zone now. Presumably from rising sea level. In the hardwood forest they are abundant also.

The GeoDex
Spotted by
The GeoDex

Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States

Spotted on Oct 5, 2020
Submitted on Oct 5, 2020

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