Jan. 11, 2021

cabbage palm, Sabal palmetto

This palmetto was conveniently next to a boardwalk. Haven't been that fortunate with a lot of palm flowers. Cabbage palmetto is one of the species eaten as heart of palm. The inside of the leafy crown of several species is edible. If you're ever fortunate enough to be in the path of a charging water buffalo, you might get to try some. That day I ducked behind a young coconut palm, and mom buffalo took off half the crown on her way past. The local people ran up and started eating. This crown had an inner core about three feet long, with a consistency like fresh carrot. The mild coconut-like flavor was terrific. The outer part gradually differentiates into leaf tissue, but is also tasty as long as it's tender. I imagine cabbage palm would be similar. The problem is that digging into the terminal bud of a palm kills the tree. Mom wound up happy too, once I wasn't between her and her calf. Cabbage palm is native to AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX, and nearby Caribbean islands. Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade Co FL, 3/20/16. Palm family, Arecaceae.