Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Serenoa repens - (W.Bartram.)Small.

Common Name Saw Palmetto
Family Arecaceae or Palmae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards Avoid with other hormonal drugs. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation. Take with food. Rare adverse effects include: mild headache and gastrointestinal symptoms. May decrease libido in males. Possible back pain and blood pressure increase [301].
Habitats Low pine woods, savannahs and thickets[222], where it often forms substantial thickets[200]. Also found on coastal sand dunes[231].
Range South-eastern N. America - South Carolina to Florida, west to Arkansas.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto


Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press
Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Palm.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Serenoa repens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Brahea serrulata. Chamaerops serrulata. Corypha obliqua. Serenoa serrulata

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[238]. A sweet flavour but with a soapy taste and a strong vanilla-like aroma[238]. Regular consumption of the fruit is supposed to be very beneficial to the health, improving the digestion and helping to increase weight and strength[238]. Seed - raw or cooked[238].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiseptic  Aphrodisiac  Diuretic  Expectorant  Sedative  Tonic  Uterine tonic

Saw palmetto berries are a tonic herb that is used in the treatment of debility, urinary tract problems and for reducing enlarged prostate glands[254]. The partially dried ripe fruit is aphrodisiac, urinary antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and tonic[4, 222]. It is taken internally in the treatment of impotence, debility in elderly men, prostate enlargement and inflammation, bronchial complaints associated with coldness, and wasting diseases[222, 238]. Saw palmetto is one of the few Western herbs that are considered to be anabolic (strengthening and building body tissue and encouraging weight gain)[254]. The fruit pulp, or a tincture, is given to those suffering from wasting disease, general debility and failure to thrive[254]. The fruit also has a beneficial effect on the urinary system, helping to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate gland and strengthening the neck of the bladder[254]. The fruit has a probable oestrogenic action, it is prescribed in the treatment of impotence, reduced or absent sex drive and testicular atrophy in men and to stimulate breast enlargement in women[254]. The fruit is also used in the treatment of colds, coughs, irritated mucous membranes, asthma etc[4, 222]. A suppository of the powdered fruits, in cocoa butter, has been used as a uterine and vaginal tonic[222]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto for prostatic complaints, irritable bladder (see [302] for critics of commission E).

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Basketry  Brush  String

The leaf stems have been used in making baskets[257]. The plant has been used to make brushes and cordage[257].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Erosion control, Ground cover, Massing, Specimen, Woodland garden. Requires a warm sunny position in a moist but well-drained soil[231]. Plants can succeed in quite dry soils so long as their roots can penetrate to underground water[231]. Growing mainly in coastal areas in its native range, this species is likely to be very tolerant of maritime exposure, though not of cold winds[K]. This species is one of the hardiest of palms and succeeds outdoors in warm temperate zones[200]. It is only likely to be marginally hardy, even in the mildest areas of Britain, and probably tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[K]. Palms usually have deep penetrating root systems and generally establish best when planted out at a young stage. However, older plants are substantially more cold tolerant than juvenile plants[231]. In areas at the limit of their cold tolerance, therefore, it is prudent to grow the plants in containers for some years, giving them winter protection, and only planting them into their permanent positions when sheer size dictates[231]. Palms can also be transplanted even when very large. Although the thick fleshy roots are easily damaged and/or desiccated, new roots are generally freely produced. It is important to stake the plant very firmly to prevent rock, and also to give it plenty of water until re-established - removing many of the leaves can also help[231]. Plants usually sucker freely in the wild and form dense thickets[200]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Attracts butterflies, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

The seed is best sown in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. It usually germinates freely. Stored seed is more difficult to germinate, it should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water before sowing in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Although the plant forms suckers, these do not usually transplant well and so seed is the only sure method of propagation[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

(W.Bartram.)Small.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Serenoa repens  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.