“Bay Leaf Palm”
Natural Habitat: Found throughout a wide range of habitats, including rainforest, savannas, and cleared forest areas in Central and South America. It can be found growing at from coastal areas to elevations at 3000 feet.
Description: A very distinct Sabal palm, which is easily identified from other family members. The mauritiiformis is a tall slender trunked, solitary palm that can reach heights around 80 feet tall in natural habitat. In cultivation, they tend to grow slower and shorter. The trunk stays rather skinny, usually not reaching 1 foot in width. The leaf bases or boots emerge from the crownshaft a bright green color, and keep the color for some time until they age and fade to a tan or gray color. The trunk also tends to keep its old leaf boots as it grows, eventually dropping them when it reaches a height somewhere between 20-40 feet tall. The large 6-7 foot long costapalmate leaves sit at the end of unusually long petioles. The leaves are dark green and have bluish gray undersides.
Environment: The mauritiiformis enjoys a shady moist and well drained area when younger. As it ages, it requires more and more sun, eventually handling full sun with ease. It should be planted where it can grow upwards through the canopy to the sun. It is cold hardy to the low 30’s high 20’s, and can handle light freezes and frosts with no to minimal damage. Zones 9-11