Friday, December 30, 2011

Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens

This southeast U.S. Palmetto is the one and only member of the Serenoa family. It often forms large colonies of dense clumps , especially in coastal areas and pine forest. Growing up to 15 feet tall and 20 feet across with a trunk diameter up to 1.5 feet ( more often no trunk at all ) - the alltime tallest recorded Saw Palmetto is only 30 feet.
The 4 foot fan shaped leaves are born on very thorny stalks and are deeply divided into stiff segments. Depending on clone and soil conditions the foliage ranges from yellow-green to silvery-green to bluish.
The woolly flowerheads up to 24 inches long bear fragrant cream flowers.
The fruits are small blue-black berries. The berries have medicinal value in possibly reducing enlarged prostates. They may even increase the production male sex hormones.
Hardy from zone 7 to 12 this Palm can tolerate as cold as 12 and dies off at 3 F

* photo taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida

* photos of unknown internet source



* historic archive photo

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