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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers.
Dwarf palmetto, Palmetto, Bush palmetto
Synonym(s): Corypha minor, Sabal adansonii, Sabal deeringiana, Sabal glabra, Sabal louisiana
USDA Symbol: SAMI8
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This common, fan-shaped palm is a small shrub, 5-10 ft. tall, occasionally reaching tree size in Texas. Usually stemless, the leaves arising from an underground stock. Leaf blades longer than the leaf stalks, fan shaped, as much as 4 feet wide, dissected, the narrow segments notched at the tip. White blooms are followed by black fruit about 1/2 inch wide in long clusters. Plant forms a trunk when grown in standing water.
There are more than 2,500 plants in the palm family worldwide, but only about a dozen are native to the United States.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Evergreen Size Notes:
5-8 feet tall. Leaf:
Blue Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, TX Native Distribution:
North Carolina south to Florida, west to Arkansas and central Texas, south to Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico Native Habitat:
Lowlands; swamps; river terraces; floodplains
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Palmetto lends interest and variety to a damp, shaded place. Provide it with plenty of water during establishment; afterwards palmetto is quite hardy through droughts although the tips of the leaves may turn brown. Dwarf palmetto is a good accent plant for moist areas and will tolerate poor drainage. It is the most cold-tolerant Sabal.
Winter-hardy Use Wildlife:
Cover, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Nectar-insects, Nesting site Interesting Foliage:
PropagationDescription: Fresh seeds require no pretreatment but germination will be better with stratification. Seeds require a moist, muddy seedbed.
Seed Treatment: Stratify 30 days at 38 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009
I live in Southwest Austin and I am looking for a shrub that I can plant against the back of my house, which faces the north. I want something native, fairly low maintenance and not too large,...
view the full question and answer
Native plants for seasonal poor drainage
May 16, 2006
I have an area in my front yard that has a drainage ditch running through it. When it rains, that area stays very wet. What kind of plants available for sale will work in this situation?
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXPineywoods Native Plant Center
- Nacogdoches, TXNative Plant Society of Texas
- Fredericksburg, TXCrosby Arboretum
- Picayune, MSTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXGeorgia Native Plant Society
- Atlanta, GANPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TXNPSOT - Williamson County Chapter
- Georgetown, TXMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1142
Collected 2007-11-17 in Liberty County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff