The Palm Society--Northern California Chapter

Northern California Chapter
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Serenoa repens

Serenoa repens

Common name: Saw palmetto
Native to: Southeastern USA
Mature height: 6'
Mature spread: 10'
Growth Habit: multiple
Leaf type: palmate
Serenoa repens

photo by: Dennis Valdez
Dick Douglas Garden
Walnut Creek


The Saw Palmetto, so-called because its thorny petioles distinguish it from the ubiquitous Sabal palmettos of the South, is a long-lived suckering palm with subterranean stems or with trunks crawling along the ground, forming dense, impenetrable thickets. As such, although a beautiful little much-desired palm in cultivation. It has been regarded as a weed and has been ravaged in the wild. Finally though, this wanton destruction has abated as its fruits have come to be appreciated for their medicinal value. German research has verified Native American medicinal folklore, confirming it's effectiveness in relieving BPH {Benign prostatic hypertrophy}and its side effects. Some ancient specimens have formed clumps of emergent trunks 20' or more in height. Serenoa repens, though hardy to 10 degrees or less, is extremely slow growing when lacking heat.

Serenoa repens

photo by: Dennis Valdez
Dick Douglas Garden
Walnut Creek
This species in the garden:
Growth rate: very slow
Sunlight: full sun
Water: moderate
Cold Tolerance: 10 F
Seed or plant availability: limited

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© 2004 by the Palm Society, Northern California Chapter