Flowers and Fruits
Serenoa repens is a USA-NPN regional plant species. Regional species are ecologically or economically important but are distributed more locally than calibration species. The NPN integrates these observations to understand better plant responses within the different geographic regions of the nation.
Serenoa repens is a perennial shrub or small tree 10 to 12 feet in height. Its trunk grows in clumps or dense thickets. The silvery-green to yellow-green, fan-shaped leaves with sharp teeth or spines give the species its common name, saw palmetto. The flowers are fragrant and yellowish-white and are pollinated by bees. The fruit is an orangish-black drupe.
Saw palmetto grows best in warm-temperate or humid, subtropical climates. It grows well in sun but is tolerant to shade. It is often found as understory in pinelands, hardwood hammocks and woodlands, sand dunes, sand pine scrub, and savannas. Although it is a high water user, saw palmetto grows best in dry, well-drained soils rather than water-logged soils
The palmetto skipper caterpillar feeds exclusively on the plant; its fruits are eaten by black bear, white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, opossums, tortoise, and birds. Saw palmetto also provides shelter and nesting for burrowing owls and sandhill cranes.
You should observe...
Here are the phenophases you should observe about this plant.
One or more fresh flowers or flower heads (inflorescences) are visible on the plant. Flower heads include many small flowers that usually do not open all at once. Do not include wilted or dried flowers that remain on the plant, or heads whose flowers have all wilted or dried.
One or more open fresh flowers are visible on the plant. Flowers are considered "open" when the reproductive parts (male stamens or female pistils) are visible between unfolded or open flower parts. Do not include wilted or dried flowers that remain on the plant.
One or more fresh fruits are visible on the plant.
One or more ripe fruits are visible on the plant.
|Recent fruit drop
One or more fresh mature fruits or seeds have dropped or been removed from the plant since your last visit. Do not include obviously immature fruits that have dropped before ripening, such as in a heavy rain or wind.
If drought seems to be the cause of leaf color or fall for a plant, please make a comment about it for that observation.
In traditional and modern medicine, an extract from the fruit of Serenoa repens is used to treat prostrate swelling, baldness, and urinary tract infections. Other uses are as a fiber for basketry and thatch. It is a slow-growing and long-lived plant, with some specimens as old as 500 to 700 years old. The genus name is in honor of American botanist Sereno Watson. Saw palmetto is native to the U.S. and is in the Arecaceae (palm) family.
Gardens with this plant