The official Florida state tree is the sabal palm. It is also known as the palmetto, sabal palmetto and the cabbage palm. The tree is a member of the Arecaceae family and is native to the southeastern United States, Cuba and the Bahamas.
In 1953, the sabal palm was designated as the official state tree of Florida. The tree is represented on the state flag within the great seal.
The sabal palm reaches up to 80 feet in height with fan-shaped leaves 4 to 6 feet long. The white flowers are small and the nearly round fruit is a dark, shiny blue.
Florida has been planting hundreds of sabal palms along the freeways to absorb road noise. It is also used as an ornamental and a street tree, according to the Floridata website.
The sabal palm requires little maintenance because it is salt- and drought-resistant. The tree can adapt to most types of soils and can be used in beach plantings.
The sabal palm does best in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10. The tree is frost-tolerant and can survive at many degrees below freezing.