Virginia Tech Dendrology

saw palmetto Arecaceae (Palmae) Serenoa repens (Bartram) Small Listen to the Latin symbol: SERE2
Leaf: Alternate, palmately compound, fan shaped, leaflets very long (2 to 3 feet) and lance shaped, leaf stalk with very sharp edges, blue green in color, over all leaf nearly round and several feet long.
Flower: Small white flowers occurring on large (several feet), branched clusters, appearing in early summer.
Fruit: Fleshy drupe, nearly round, 1/2 to 3/4 inch across, dark blue, maturing in early fall and persistent into the winter.
Twig: Absent, since leaves appear directly out of an unbranched (occasionally branched), short trunk.
Bark: Rough, covered with reddish brown, old leaf bases.
Form: Bush or small tree with a sprawling horizontal trunk and a round crown of large, fan shaped leaves.
Looks like: needle palm - bush palmetto - cabbage palmetto
leaf flower bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Serenoa repens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting saw palmetto.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson