104 seeds for the price of 10!

Of all the strange seed I brought back from Oklahoma, none were from the scrub palm, Sabal minor, that is endemic to McCurtain County in the very southeaster corner of Oklahoma. I did not get to that region.

Sabal minor is nothing special to those who are acquainted with it. However, a variety that was selected from those in McCurtain County, which is known simply as Sabal minor ‘McCurtain’, is becoming increasingly popular in climates where winter weather is too cold for other palms. It is sufficiently resilient to frost to survive in New England and Canada.

I just wanted it because it is from Oklahoma.

Since I did not collect any wild seed, I had considered purchasing a seedling of the ‘McCurtain’ variety online. It would have been rather expensive for a single seedling. I was pleased to find seed of the same variety that were significantly less expensive for several seed. I know they grow slowly, but I am in no hurry. I gain bragging rights as soon as the seed germinate.

Unexpectedly, I was even more pleased to find seed on eBay that were collected from trees that were collected from the wild in McCurtain County, but were not of the ‘McCurtain’ variety! I know that seems trivial, and maybe even less desirable to those who want a garden variety, but for me, such seed are more closely related to those I would have collected if I had been there.

For $6.00, I expected delivery of a packet of ten seed of Sabal minor from McCurtain County. I could not pass on a deal like that. Instead, I got the 104 seed in the picture above! That is ten times what I was expecting. They will grow into more scrub palms than my garden can accommodate. RAD!

7 thoughts on “Scrub Palm

  1. A Twitter friend sent me seeds two years ago and they all started well. I have kept some which should resist the European climate and Normandy where the temperatures are sometimes low (even if this winter is relatively mild.) It completes my collection of palm trees !

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    1. If yours are from McCurtain County, they should be fine in all but the most extreme climates of Europe. They might not like Scandinavian climates. That is why they are gaining popularity in New England, where there are not many other palms that will survive winter. Is your collection complete because in includes all the palms that can be grown there, or just because you got all the species you want?

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      1. My Sabal palmetto seeds come from a Twitter friend who lives in North Carolina. I don’t know exactly where they come from. Otherwise I rather make a collection to my idea with the seeds that I chose here and there ( holidays, purchases…), or that people send me. I have about 15 different with sometimes 2 or 3 of each ( just in case) ; of course some hardy for France like trachycarpus fortunei, wagnerianus, needle palm, chamaerops humilis…but also exotic varieties that are overwintered in a heated bench at this time of the year ( sabal domingensis, date palm, phoenix roebelenii, pritchardia pacifica, foxtail palm, dwarf royal palm, …. and more)
        Palms are lovely aren’t they?!

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      2. Yes the are. There are a few in Southern California that I would like to grow here, but the different climate is rather limiting. Washingtonia filifera is my favorite palm, and is very tolerant of (and actually prefers) frost, but wants warmer and drier weather than it gets here. It survives, but is not very happy about it. It is one that is best in the wild.

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