Sabal minor (Jacq.) Pers.
Dwarf Palmetto, Bush Palmetto, Palmetto
Arecaceae (Palm Family)
Synonym(s): Corypha minor, Sabal adansonii, Sabal deeringiana, Sabal glabra, Sabal louisiana
USDA Symbol: sami8
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: 5-8 feet tall.
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun
DistributionUSA: 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 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Accent tree or shrub, Winter-hardy
Use Wildlife: Cover, Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals, Nectar-insects, Nesting site
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate
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
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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX
NPSOT - 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 BankLBJWC-1142 Collected 2007-11-17 in Liberty County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Sabal minor in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sabal minor in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sabal minor
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-12-08
Research By: TWC Staff