Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


Sable Palm, Guardian daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Guardian, 2012, (c) Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

The Sable Palm, or Cabbage Palm is a noble and ancient tree commonly found in the Everglades landscape.  The trunks are strong and hearty, and the palm can tolerate salt-laced winds, but doesn't like salt water flooding the roots.  The Sable can tolerate both cold and can also withstand the hot prairie fires.  Their height and bulk make them ideal for sheltering wildlife from the torrid summer sun and torrential summer rains.

Growth for the leaves is a terminal bud at the top of the trunk.  This was eaten as food, and makes a wonderful Cabbage Palm Soup.  Unfortunately, when the bud is harvested the tree dies, so it is no longer desirable to harvest the heart of the palm from wild trees. 

Today, hearts of palm are grown in several South American countries as a food crop, with the hearts harvested while the trees are till quite young.  You can purchase hearts of palm in any grocery, and Cooks.com has some Cabbage Palm recipes for you to try. 

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