Puerto Rican Hat-palm - Center For Plant Conservation
Search / Plant Profile / Sabal causiarum
Plant Profile

Puerto Rican Hat-palm (Sabal causiarum)

This is a full shot of this tall (up to 60 feet) palm tree, also known as the Puerto Rican hat palm. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • State: PR, VI
  • Nature Serve ID: 139653
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/08/1989

Sabal causiarum, or hat palm, is endemic to southwestern Puerto Rico. This species was once widespread on the island, and was often used to make hats and baskets (Tucker 1927). This palm can be distinguished from other palms because it grows up to 50 feet in height, rising from a massive, smooth gray trunk, which itself can grow up to four feet in diameter. This palm is a slow growing tree, likely made slower by the harvesting of its palms for use as hats and baskets (Tucker 1927, Floridata 2001).

Where is Puerto Rican Hat-palm (Sabal causiarum) located in the wild?


Found on hillside or ridges in dry forest flatlands behind beaches. The species is fairly tolerant of wind.


Tucker (1927) states that this species is endemic to Puerto Rico, but other sources say it is found in the Virgin Islands, as well. (Kraus 1992)

States & Provinces:

Puerto Rican Hat-palm can be found in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Which CPC Partners conserve Puerto Rican Hat-palm (Sabal causiarum)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Tina Stanley
  • 05/11/2023
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

According to a March 2023 extract of the Florida Plant Rescue Database, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden holds 1 accessions of Sabal causiarum totalling approximately 275 seeds representing 1 maternal lines.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Native only in Puerto Rico. Found on coastal plains of northern, western, and southwestern Puerto Rico.

  • 01/01/2010

Threats include: Commercial collecting (especially large specimens) as this is a very popular horticultural item road construction feral sheep (Guana) sheep and goats (Anegada)

  • 01/01/2010

Thousands of trees are now found in 3 sites in Puerto Rico, 12-15 individuals on St. Thomas, 116 individuals on Guana Islands, British Virgin Islands (106 occur in 1 population and 14 individuals which occur on the southwest part of Anegada Island).

  • 01/01/2010

None known.

  • 01/01/2010

None known.


Be the first to post an update!

Taxon Sabal causiarum
Authority (O.F. Cook) Becc.
Family Arecaceae
CPC Number 6532
ITIS 504925
Common Names Palma de Sombrero | Puerto Rican hat-palm | Puerto Rico palmetto
Associated Scientific Names Sabal causiarum
Distribution Tucker (1927) states that this species is endemic to Puerto Rico, but other sources say it is found in the Virgin Islands, as well. (Kraus 1992)
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Virgin Islands
Ecological Relationships


Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees Confirmed Pollinator Link

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

CPC secures rare plants for future generations by coordinating on-the-ground conservation and training the next generation of plant conservation professionals. Donate today to help save rare plants from extinction.

Donate Today