Silver saw palmetto tree

Saw-palmetto, Serenoa repens, a native of Florida rangelands, and used medicinally in prostate formulations, was evaluated as an alternative crop in semi-arid, subtropical South Texas (Lat. 26°8’N, Long. 97°57’W). Fresh seeds, obtained from the USDA Plant Introduction Station, Miami, Florida, were sown on 28 Oct. 1999 directly into artificial media after using the following pre-germination protocols: (1) fruit ‘as is’, (2) seed with mesocarp removed (cleaned seed), (3) seed cleaned and rinsed for 24h then imbibed in water for an additional 24h, (4) seed cleaned and rinsed for 24h + 6h acid scarification, then rinsed in water for an additional 18h, (5) seed cleaned and rinsed for 24h + mechanical abrasion, then imbibed for 24h, (6) seed cleaned and rinsed for 24h + GA4,7 (100 μg L-1) soak for an additional 24h, and (7) seed cleaned and rinsed for 24h and a combination of procedures 4 + 5. After 12 weeks, treatments 3 through 7 were, statistically, but not kinetically, similar (50-61% germination), but higher than simply removing the mesocarp (20%) or planting the unprocessed seed (8%). These seedlings were then grown in a greenhouse until 14 March 2001, pooled, and field planted into a Fine, mixed, hyperthermic Vertic Calciustolls and a Coarse-loamy, mixed, hyperthermic Aridic Haplustalfs soil (USDA). Plants were set at 0.9 m within row spacing, in single 36 m rows, trickle irrigated, and supplied with fertilizer each year. First flowering was observed in 2003. The yield per plant and plant height were 229 and 1007 g and 1.6 and 1.9 m, for 2005 and 2006, respectively, for plants grown in the two respective soils (means were different at P < 0.01). Using the above seed germination protocols, proper site selection, agronomic inputs, control of pests (weeds and wildlife), 3.6 t/ha of seed could be expected from a commercial S. repens planting (3588 plants/ha) by the 6th year.

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Palm trees often bring to mind images of bright, sandy beaches, blue waves rolling lazily to the shore. There are over 2,600 different varieties of palm trees, and not all of them grow by the ocean. Some grow in desert regions, swaying invitingly above watery refuges called oases. Others grow deep in the rain forest. Palm trees are utilized by people as sources of food, fiber, and natural beauty.

The palm tree is one of the oldest figures recorded in art. Historically, it was used to symbolize victory, abundance, fertility, and peace. Some ancient Roman coins bore the image of a palm tree, a woman sitting and weeping beneath it. The elaborate temple erected by King Solomon of ancient Jerusalem is said to have had carvings of palm trees overlaid with gold adorning the walls and doors. The inhabitants of southern Indian once worshiped a palm tree goddess. Today, the palm tree is featured on numerous national and regional flags, including South Carolina, Florida, and Saudi Arabia.

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Would you like to add the stately, tropical palm tree to your artwork or decor? Doing so is now easier than ever, with the aid of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial.

You will need only a piece of paper and a pencil. A good eraser is also useful, both to correct mistakes and to remove early lines called guide lines. Finally, you may wish to use colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paints to shade your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Christmas Tree, Cartoon Tree, and Clouds.

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You don’t need any special art supplies to draw this tutorial but you can support Easy Drawing Guides by purchasing through the following Amazon links:

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  • Sharpie marker to draw clean, black lines.
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  • Bright, easy to blend colored pencils or cheaper oil pastels.
  • Pencil set to practice drawing and shading together with a vinyl or kneaded eraser, and a sharpener. If you draw a lot with pencils, you could even get yourself an electric sharpener.
  • Faber-Castell’s Amazon store has all the above, plus great art sets for kids.

Amazon has also a great selection of school supplies.

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Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Palm Tree

1. Begin by drawing two long, curved lines, parallel to one another. Make sure the lines are a bit closer together at the top than at the bottom. These lines form the trunk of the palm tree.

2. Just above the trunk, draw five curved lines going in different directions. The lines will meet above the trunk, forming a shape like a droopy five-pointed star. These lines are the beginning of the palm tree’s leaves, or fronds.

3. Begin to outline some of the leaves. For the first leaf, draw a curved line from the middle of the star shape to the tip of one curved line. Then, do the same on the opposite side of the same curved line. You will have enclosed a rounded shape that is pointed on each end. Repeat this process to enclose another leaf.

4. Continue to to outline leaves by drawing curved lines from the base to the tip of the original lines.


5. In this step, you will draw a leaf from a different angle. On your remaining curved line, enclose a shape by drawing a nearly straight line from the base to the tip. Then, draw a few more leaves in profile, using a curved line and a nearly straight line for each. Erase guide lines as needed.

6. Add detail to the leaves. Using short lines, enclose a few small triangle shapes along the edges of each leaf.

7. Draw three small circles at the point where the leaves meet, called the crown of the tree. These circles form coconuts, the fruit of the palm tree.

8. Erase guide lines from the coconuts and the leaves. The leaves will now have a jagged appearance.


9. Draw curved, horizontal lines along the trunk of the tree.

10. Color your palm tree.

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The Complete Palm Tree Drawing Tutorial in One Image

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Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto grows wild in Florida’s natural areas, but it’s also a useful plant for home landscapes throughout the state.

This native plant tolerates a range of conditions and provides wonderful textural interest beneath new or established trees. And it’s highly salt-tolerant, making it ideal for coastal gardening. (It is important to note however, if you live in an area that needs to practice firewise landscaping, saw palmetto is not a good plant choice.)

Known scientifically as Serenoa repens, saw palmetto is native to the Southeast and can be found growing as far north as South Carolina and as far west as Texas.


Saw palmetto is a slow-growing, clumping, multi-trunked palm that typically grows 5 to 10 feet tall and spreads 4 to 10 feet wide. It has stout stems that usually crawl across the ground and produce fan-shaped fronds. While most forms have green leaves, leaf color is variable, with silver to blue-silver forms common on the east coast of Florida. In the horticultural trade, forms with more silvery foliage are sometimes given names including ‘Sericea’, ‘Cinerea’, or ‘Glauca’.

In the spring, 3-foot long flower stalks appear, sporting small yellow-white, fragrant flowers. Bees are attracted by these flowers, making high-grade saw palmetto honey. Flowers are followed by small, yellow berries that turn black and ripen August through October.

Saw palmetto is great for wildlife, as the berries are an important food source for many mammals and birds. Additionally, it is a host plant for the larvae of the palmetto skipper and monk butterflies. Some people believe that extracts from the berries could be an alternative treatment for prostate cancer, despite statements from the American Cancer Society that say there is no evidence of this. Because of increasing interest in the berries, a harvesting permit is now required to protect and preserve these plants. Anyone harvesting the berries must acquire a “Native Plant Harvesting Permit” issued through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry (DPI).

Planting and Care

It’s important to pick the right spot for planting, since saw palmetto can be difficult to move once established. Choose an area that will allow the plant room to grow and mature. Position plants away from walkways, driveways, play areas, or any place where the saw-like teeth along the stems might cause harm. This plant provides a beautiful backdrop for mixed borders and works well as a privacy hedge or foundation planting.

Saw palmetto prefers full sun but will grow in almost any light conditions. It will benefit from regular waterings at first, but will be very drought tolerant once established. Occasional pruning of dead fronds and old flower/fruit stems is all the maintenance this plant will need. Plants can be purchased in pots at many nurseries and can be planted year-round in Florida.

For more information on saw palmetto, contact your county Extension office.

UF/IFAS Publications

  • Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto Plant Care: How To Grow Silver Saw Palmetto Plants

Silver saw palmetto palms (Serenoa repens) are native to Florida and southeastern U.S. These palms are unusually cold hardy and can be grown is USDA regions 7-11. They are a common understory plant often found in sprawling clusters in south Florida’s pine flat woods and oak woodlands. Read on to learn more about growing these plants.

Growing Saw Palmetto Trees

Although the slow-growing silver saw palmetto palms can spread 20’ wide, the typical size is 6’ x 8.’ They have stiff, 3’- to 6’-long, silvery green fan shaped leaves. The stems and trunks often grow horizontally along the ground. Silver saw palmetto palms produce fragrant, yellowy-white flowers in the spring followed by berry-like fruit, which ripen into a blue-black color.

They can take shade put prefer sun. Silver saw palmetto palms tolerate salty conditions and withstand deer. They require moderate amounts of water but can withstand drought once they are established.

There are many interesting silver saw palmetto tree facts. The “saw” in the name refers to the saw-like teeth on the petioles (leaf stems). The fruit is an important food source for mammals and birds. An extract of the berries is popular in Western herbal medicine where it used to treat prostate and urinary tract problems. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and a great source for good quality honey.

Growing saw palmetto trees is easy. They are adapted to Florida’s sandy soils and don’t require any soil amendments unless grown out of their normal range in clay soils.

Little maintenance is needed. Fertilize them biannually with a palm fertilizer if they under perform. Remove old brown leaves and stems as needed. Cut the dead leaves off at their base. As you can see, saw palmetto plant care is minimal.

Other considerations in how to grow silver saw palmetto plants are really about all your varied landscaping options. You can plant them indoors (with enough light) or outdoors. You can install them in pots for a dramatic look. You can plant them close together to form a hedge or screen. They look fabulous at the base of tall palm trees or as an understory plant. Silver saw palmetto palms also create a lovely backdrop for smaller plants with contrasting dark green or red foliage.

Silver Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens

The stunning silver saw palmetto is supremely easy to grow, creating a more ornamental version of an old-fashioned Florida plant.

Saw palmettos are native to Florida and the southeastern United States, and the less common silver variety is a uniquely colored landscape plant for a naturalized look.

Perfect as a filler, hedge, backdrop or accent, these striking plants add old-Florida charm.

The “saw” in the plant’s name refers to the saw-like teeth on the leaf stems. Since a palmetto plant rarely needs pruning, you won’t come in contact often.

An extract made from the saw palmetto has been used for hundreds of years by everyone from Mayans to Florida’s Seminole Indians for a wide spectrum of medicinal purposes.

Currently saw palmetto extract is hailed as an alternative medicine for prostate problems.

Plant specs

Palmettos can handle full sun to complete shade, growing slowly to a typical height of 3 to 6 feet.

Grow in any Florida zone – it can take the cold.

This plant will spread out, though it takes many years for one to cover a large area. It grows thick and dense, with no visible trunk since the base of the plant remains close to the ground.

The high salt tolerance of the silver palmetto makes it an ideal planting for a home on the water.

These plants are considered to be deer resistant, though there are no guarantees.

Plant care

This is one palm that’s about as maintenance-free as it gets.

No need to bother with cold protection or even fertilizer (a once a year application of granular fertilizer is fine but not necessary).

The saw palmetto palm is drought-tolerant (once established) and highly salt-tolerant.

You’ll want to trim off browned fronds now and then to keep a clean look. Cut the stem as close to the ground as you can.

Plant in plain old sandy Florida soil – no need to add soil amendments, since this beautiful little palm grows naturally in southern oak hammocks, pine forests and open fields.

Plant spacing

Palmettos will spread so spacing can vary. For an instant hedge, plant them as close together as you like.

You can place a silver saw palmetto next to any structure – house, wall or fence – or under trees directly against the trunk.

They make great container plants for large pots or planter boxes and will be happy there for years.

Landscape uses for silver saw palmetto

  • low to mid-size screen or hedge
  • backdrop for other garden plants
  • accent plant for hardscape features such as a decorative fountain
  • as an understory planting among tree or palm trunks
  • anchor for a garden bed
  • in the center of a circular drive
  • in a container for pool or patio, or in the poolcage planter


COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Use with other low-care plant varieties such as oleander, dwarf Fakahatchee grass, kopsia tree, cocoplum, clusia, frangipani and railroad vine.

Other palms you might like: Cycads, European Fan Palm

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Serenoa repens Saw Palmetto1

Edward F. Gilman2


Saw palmetto is an extremely sturdy palm with great textural interest that blends in well with natural or seaside landscapes (Fig. 1). This low, clumping, bushy palm has large, fan-shaped leaves and multiple trunks that creep along the ground, creating a dense ground cover. Most saw palmettos have green leaves, but a form with blue leaves can be found along the southeast coast of Florida. Three-foot-long flower stalks appear in spring, covered with small, yellow-white, fragrant flowers, the source of a commercial high-grade honey. The flowers are followed by small, yellow berries that turn black, ripening August through October. These berries are an important food source for many mammals and birds.

Figure 1.

Saw palmetto

General Information

Scientific name: Serenoa repens Pronunciation: sair-ren-NOE-uh REE-penz Common name(s): saw palmetto Family: Aracaceae Plant type: palm USDA hardiness zones: 8 through 11 (Fig. 2) Planting month for zone 8: year round Planting month for zone 9: year round Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round Origin: native to Florida Uses: mass planting; specimen; naturalizing; border; reclamation plant; accent; ground cover; attracts butterflies Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant Figure 2.

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Growth rate: slow Height: 5 to 10 feet Spread: 4 to 10 feet Plant habit: palm Plant density: open Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: parted Leaf shape: star-shaped Leaf venation: palmate Leaf type and persistence: evergreen Leaf blade length: more than 36 inches Leaf color: silver/gray; blue or blue-green Fall color: no fall color change Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: yellow-white Flower characteristic: spring flowering; pleasant fragrance


Fruit shape: oval Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch Fruit cover: fleshy Fruit color: black Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems Current year stem/twig color: not applicable Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun; plant grows in the shade Soil tolerances: alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam Drought tolerance: high Soil salt tolerances: good Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem Winter interest: no special winter interest Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Surviving only on rainfall once established, saw palmetto grows on any well-drained soil in full sun to shade, and is highly salt tolerant. Best transplanted when young, larger specimens ideally should not be removed during land clearing, since plants grow very slowly and transplant so poorly. This happens because stems frequently grow along the ground as they droop under the weight of the foliage. Therefore, the root system may not be located beneath the foliage but could be 5 to 10 feet away at the base of the stem. Twice the desired number of collected saw palmetto are often planted since mortality is high. Saw palmetto is becoming more available in containers from nurseries. Homeowners should make an effort to leave native stands in place beneath existing trees when developing a new lot since they require no maintenance. Saw palmetto should be planted on 3- to 5-foot centers to establish a new mass planting. They make a wonderful ground cover effect beneath existing or newly planted trees. Upright plants can be grown into beautiful multi-stemmed specimens but these are not common and quite expensive. The variety sericea, silver palmetto, is recognized by some authorities and has beautiful silver leaves. Propagation is usually by seed but seedlings grow very slowly.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.


This document is FPS-547, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Saw Palmetto Palm Tree(Serenoa repens)

(6-8″ Tall)

About Saw Palmetto Palm Tree…

This product cannot be shipped to CA.

The Saw Palmetto is native to North America and is one of the most cold tolerant palms available to people in northern climates. Saw Palmettos have been found in parts of the southeastern United States and estimated to be 500 to 700 years old. Saw Palmettos typically are thought of as a shrubby dwarf palm, however, occasionally they may reach heights of 15 feet. The Saw Palmetto is cold hardy from 0 to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. They are an important part of the coastal plains eco-system of the southeast, providing shelter and protection for many small animals and reptiles.
The seed of the Saw Palmetto is prized by pharmaceutical companies and is used for the treatment of prostate gland swelling. Saw Palmettos are excellent for growing as a dwarf palm under larger palms or as a palm hedge. The Saw Palmetto has a light to medium green palmate leaf with harmless serrated stems. It is an excellent choice for naturalizing around the base of pines and is tolerant of sun or shade. The Saw Palmetto Palms are tough plants: these cold hardy palms are also resistant to fire and drought. (Grows in Zones 6-10. Refer to Zone Map.)

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