The Central Palm and Cycad Society meeting on 12/14/2015 featured a trip to Bok Tower Gardens and a visit to a private palm collection in Winter Haven. One of the few native palms was most distinctive: A variegated cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The non-photosynthetic (not green) tissue is in the middle of leaf.
The owners of the palm collection have included only this very special cabbage palm — and very few phoenix palms – due to their concerns about the spread of Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD). This uncurable disease is a phytoplasma, an uncultivable bacterium with no cell wall, akin to lethal yellowing which devastated coconut palms in Florida.
This evil pathogen has been killing cabbage palms and phoenix palms in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota & Polk counties. Click here for more information about this devastating palm disease.