Ajuntament de Barcelona

Sabal bermudana

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Sabal de les Bermudes
    Spanish name: 
    Sabal de las Bermudas
    English name: 
    Bermuda palmetto
    Observations: 

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of this plant is endangered.

    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Arecaceae
    Origin: 
    Bermuda
    Habitat: 
    Rich and damp soils in warm areas
    Characteristics: 

    Hermaphrodite palm tree 7-8 m tall, although it can reach 25 m, with stipe (non branched trunk finishing into a bunch of leaves), 20-60 cm in diameter.

    The leaves are palms with rib up to 2 m long, which are composed of many rigid leaflets (greyish-green on the upper side) united on the bottom half (75 cm).

    The little cream flowers appear into panicles (bunched inflorescences where the axis ramifies into new bunches), 1.5-2 m long, sprouting from the bottom leaves. 

    The very dark brown fruits are globose or pear-shaped drupes, up to 2 cm in diameter, containing a single black seed, 1.5 cm in diameter.

    Flowering time: 
    Early summer
    Fruiting time: 
    Autumn
    Uses and properties: 

    In Bermuda, homeland of this plant, it was used in the 17th Century to make roofs as well as hats and it was exported for a brief period of time to the United Kingdom and other countries.

    An alcoholic drink of high alcohol content known as bibby was also made.

    History and curiosities: 

    Unlike other scientific names, the origin of Sabal, genus that was described for the first time by the French botanist Michel Adanson (1727-1806), still is a mystery. It is probable that it was derivated from the local name of some of the genus species.

    The term bermudana, which indicates the species, is the Latin word for "Bermudan, Bermudian".

    For further information: 

    CAÑIZO, José Antonio del. Palmeras. Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2002

    http://www.palmsociety.org