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Native Plant Database

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Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Sabal minor

Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers.

Dwarf palmetto, Palmetto, Bush palmetto

Arecaceae (Palm Family)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: 5-8 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green
Flower:
Fruit: Blue
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , 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 Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Accent tree or shrub, Winter-hardy
Use Wildlife: Cover, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Nectar-insects, Nesting site
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Propagation

Description: 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

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009
Hi.. 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

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FACW FACW
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 Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Native Plant Nursery - Sanibel, FL
Far South Wholesale Nursery - Austin, TX

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, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1142 Collected 2007-11-17 in Liberty County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Bibliography

Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sabal minor in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sabal minor in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sabal minor

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff

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