Enter a zip code:
OR
Choose a county:
OR
Search for a plant in the Natives For Your Neighborhood database:
OR
Search for an animal in the Natives For Your Neighborhood database:
 
 

...............................

Support this project

 

Join our email list!

...............................

Acknowledgements and past sponsors

...............................

Contributing Native Plant Nurseries

...............................

Become a sponsor!

...............................

 

 



Saw palmetto
Serenoa repens
Arecaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Accent or specimen shrub. Informal hedges. Spiny barrier plantings.
Availability:
Widely cultivated.
Description:
Large shrub or rarely a small tree. Trunks usually creeping along the ground but sometimes becoming erect, amost always branching and forming large patches. Leaves fan-shaped, stiff, with numerous sharp teeth on the stems (petiole), green or bluish-green.
Dimensions:
About 4-6 feet in height; to 15 feet in the wild. Usually broader than tall.
Growth Rate:
Very slow to slow.
Range:
Southeastern United States south to the Monroe County Keys. Very rare in the upper Monroe County Keys and apparently very rare or absent in the middle Keys.
Habitats:
Pinelands, scrub and coastal uplands.
Soils:
Moist to dry or seasonally wet, well-drained to moderately well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Moderately low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water, but tolerates short term inunation by salt water from storm surge with minimal damage.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun to light shade.
Flower Color:
White or creamy white.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy when at peak. Fragrant.
Flowering Season:
All year; peak in summer.
Fruit:
Blue-black drupe. Summer-fall.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Larval host plant for monk skipper (Asbolis capucinus) and palmetto skipper (Euphyes arpa) butterflies. Nectar plant for Bartram's scrub-hairstreak (Strymon acis), atala (Eumaes atala) and other butterflies. A variety of animals eat the fruits, including deer, bear and turkey.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from de-pulped seed. Scatter seeds on surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in light shade to full sun. Germination may take 6 weeks or more.


 


George D. Gann
Roger L. Hammer
Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton

Shirley Denton