Sabal Adans.

Sabal gretherae H.J.Quero

This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico (Quintana Roo).

Palma mediocris usque ad 8 malta, trunco 20-30 cm diametro. Folia magna, lamina ca. 2 m lata, petiolis apice 3-4 cm latis, glabris, hastula longe acuminata, glabra, marginibus incurvatis, 13-22 cm longa, segmentis numerosis, unicostatis, costa media prominente, venis transversalibus conspicuis uterque paginis, segmentis centralibus usque ad 1.30 m longis, 7 cm latis, apice bifurcatis, palman longitudine 1/3 laminae, sinubus filiferis. Inflorescentiae ascendentes, folias non excedentes, 1.80-2.00 m longae, ramosissimae. Flores albi, fragrantes, calyce costato, urceolato vel cupulato, ca. 1.5 mm longo, petalis spathulatis siccatis costatis, 5 mm longis, filamentis ca. 5 mm longis, antheris 1.2-1.5 mm longis, pistillo conico ca. 4 mm longo, apice papilloso. Fructus subglobosi vel pyriformes, nigri, 16-20 mm lati, 16-18 mm alti. Semina subglobosa vel ovata-depressa, base plerunque manifeste apiculata; micropyle supraequatoriali.
General Description
Medium-sized palm to ca. 8 m tall; trunk 20-30 cm diam., with persistent petiole bases only near the crown. Leaf large, with blade more than 2 m diam.; petioles 1.201.40 m long, 5-6 cm wide in the middle and 3-4 cm wide at the apex; hastula narrowly triangular to acuminate, 15-22 cm long, glabrous, never lepidote, with incurved to erect margin, never flat; segments 100-120, robust, the middle ones 1.10-1.30 m long, 6-7 cm wide, with a prominent midvein and very conspicuous transverse veinlets on both surfaces, segment apices bifid for 30-40 cm, generally breaking at the apex; palman 40-50 cm long, filiferous at the sinuses at least in the smaller segments, the blade from the larger segments frequently marginally broken above the sinus in a narrow strip 5-11 mm wide. Inflorescence appressed-ascending with 3 orders of branching, not exceeding the leaves, 1.80-2.0 m long, with 2528 primary branches; rachillae 9-11 cm long, 1-1.2 mm diam. in the lowermost primary branches. Flowers white, fragrant, 4-4.5 mm long; calyx urceolate to cupulate, trilobed, 1.5-2 mm long, strongly costate when dry; petals spathulate, narrow ca. 4 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, ascending to spreading at anthesis, strongly costate when dry; filaments ca. 5 mm long, anthers 1.2-1.5 mm long, pistil conical ca. 4 mm long, with papillose apex, ovary 1.2-1.5 mm high. Fruit globular to globular- pyriform, 16-20 mm diam., 16-18 mm high, black at maturity, epicarp smooth, mesocarp fleshy to 4 mm thick. Seed subglobose to irregularly depressed ovoid, not concave, 9.5-12.2 mm diam., 6-9 mm high, frequently strongly apiculate at the base by the funicular remnant, to 2.2 mm high; embryo supraequatorial.
The new species is only known to date in the vicinity of Chiquila, Quintana Roo, a small coastal town located in front of Holbox Island at the northeasternmost point of the Yucatan Peninsula. This palm is abundant in this restricted area, growing under disturbed conditions, on sandy-loam plane soils. At the limit of its distribution, it grows in association with Sabal yapa and Acrocomia mexicana Karw. ex Martius.

Native to:

Mexico Southeast

Sabal gretherae H.J.Quero appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Principes 35: 219 (1991)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

  • H.J. Quero, Sabal gretheriae, a New Species of Palm from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. 1991

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Palmweb - Palms of the World Online

    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet Accessed on 21/04/2013
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