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Tropicals, Woody > Sabal > Sabal minor > Sabal minor

Sabal minor

Dwarf Palmetto, Bluestem Palmetto, Scrub Palmetto, Bush Palmetto.

Origin:  Native to the Gulf Coast States and Florida.
Tropicals, Woody
Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
7b - 11
Canadian Hardiness Zone
RHS Hardiness Zone
H5 - H1c
0.5 - 2.5 m
1 - 1.5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
This shrub-like palm generally reaches a height of only 0.5 to 2.5 m. The stem is usually not visible, being either buried or very short. Sabal minor is valued for its hardiness and tropical appearance.
Accent, border, and it will perform quite well as a specimen in a small garden. It is also impressive when massed as a tall ground cover.
It must have a full-sun to partial-shade position in the landscape. The plant is adaptable to many soil types as long as they are well-drained: it is drought tolerant. These palms will even grow well on relatively shallow soils.
ID Characteristic
The bluestem palmetto has a trunk that rarely emerges from the ground and rarely produces side shoots.
No pests or diseases of major concern.
It grows primarily in the southeastern United States of America, and its natural habitat extends west to Texas and Oklahoma.
Bark/Stem Description
Grows from a single trunk, which most often grows underground.
Leaf Description
The dark green, costapalmate leaves vary in size depending on the age of the plant but may reach a length of 1.5 m. The fan-shaped leaves of the bluestem palmetto are palmately lobed and segmented with the segments split to 2/3 their length. The leaves of this palm are green to bluish-green in colour, and the petioles are unarmed.
Flower Description
The white flower petals are 2 - 3 mm long. The inflorescences of this palm exceed the length of the leaves and bear small, white flowers that are strongly fragrant.
Fruit Description
A small fruit 6 - 8 mm in diameter, glossy black in colour , the fruit ripens in the autumn.
Notable Specimens
Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida, United States of America. Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida, United States of America.
Propagate by fresh seed which germinates readily. Transplant seedlings the following year in June or July.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Native American tribes used juice crushed from the small roots as an eye medicine to relieve irritation. Dried roots were taken for high blood pressure.