Native to the Coastal Plains from South Carolina to Florida, and west to Texas. This charming and trouble-free fan palm grows into a clump only 47 feet tall and wide. It adapts to a wide range of habitats, from sand dunes and dry scrub to moist woods and wetlands. The short trunk may be entirely underground or run parallel to the ground. Green to bluish green, palmate leaves are 23 feet across, held on saw-toothed leaf stems to 2 feet long; teeth are quite sharp, so take care when handling, and site away from areas where children play. Clusters of small white flowers give rise to berries that age from yellowish green to blue-black. An extract from the berries is used to treat enlarged prostate in men.
Saw palmetto looks good in foundation plantings, in naturalized areas, or massed under tall trees. Plant in its permanent location, as established plants don't transplant well. Hardy to 15F. A form with attractive silvery foliage is popular and widely available; blue-leafed forms are sometimes available.