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Plant Informational Database

Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens

a.k.a. Sabal serrulatum

A very small type of fan palm, protected in the wild, now famous for extracts from its fruits which are used in treatments of prostate and urinary problems.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


A very slow growing and very short palm, growing to 10-12ft, but often not exceeding 2-4ft. Part of the fan palm group, it has fan-shaped leaves composed of up to 20 leaflets. The common saw palmetto has green leaves but there are some silvery-green leaved types as well. Saw Palmetto's are also long-lived with many wild specimens believed to be well over 500 years old.


Hardy to short frosts. Should survive to the low 20's (F).

Growing Environment

Grow in full sun and in well-drained soil. Water regularly. Plants stand salty conditions fairly well. Very slow-growing, makes an excellent container specimen.


By seeds, which should be soaked in warm water for 24 hours prior to planting. Seeds germinate slowly and may take several weeks or months to sprout.


Grown as an ornamental for its fan-shaped leaves. The fruits were once an important food source for local inhabitants. Today the fruits are used to prepare extracts which reportedly help in the treatment of some prostate and urinary problems. There are also a variety of other medicinal applications for the fruits which are under investigation, such as anabolic use, anti-impotence as an oestrogenic agent.

Native Range

Native to the southeastern United States, from Florida north to South Carolina and parts of Southern Arkansas.

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