Botanical Name: Sabal minor
Common Name: Dwarf Palmetto, Dwarf Palm, Blue Palm, Blue Stem, Swamp Palm
Description: Dwarf palmetto favors the wet alluvial soil in swamps and river bottoms in Texas, Louisiana, and other southern states. This very slow growing, ground-hugging rugged palm produces pale green or bluish fan-like leaves atop spineless stems arising from a crown of underground roots. Although this plant grows natively in areas of high to moderate moisture, once established in a garden setting it is fairly drought tolerant. White flowers bloom May to June, then turn into blue/black drupes that are edible and taste like dates. The foliage is occasionally browsed by cattle. Grows 4-8′ tall and wide. Evergreen. This is the most cold-hardy of the Sabal Palms. Prefers growing in part sun to shady areas, which is its native habitat. Would be perfect for your rain garden area. Because of its slow growth, would be fine in large containers. Moderate deer resistance. Birds and other critters eat the fruit and use the plant as nesting sites, pollinators get nectar from the flowers.
The “heart” of the plant is edible, and can be eaten raw or cooked. The large succulent leaf buds are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Fresh root slices have been baked and eaten as bread.
This plant in 3-gallon containers is 1-2′ tall and wide.
Interesting Tidbit: 1. When the dwarf palmetto is grown in standing water, it’ll form a trunk. 2. There are more than 2,500 plants in the palm family worldwide, but only about a dozen are native to the United States, with the dwarf palmetto being one of the natives.
Hardiness Zones 7 – 10
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