Saw Palmetto Trees & Fruits

Saw Palmetto trees develop on broad diversity of places, ranging from open and dry to seasonally semi-shady and wet. Throughout this wide variety of habitats, it often crops up on sand ridges, coastal dunes, islands close to marshes, and flatwood forests. Saw Palmetto trees are dominant land cover in several pine forests on the southeastern part of the US, at times even wrapping hundreds of acres. It frequently grows in bunches of twenty-feet or more in length.

Saw Palmetto trees are native to most of the coastal plains of the southeast, between Florida and Louisiana in the south, to South Carolina in the north. Animals such as white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and black bears sustain from the Saw Palmetto trees’ fruits. Even Native Americans have also utilized its fruits for food.

Today, the fruits (berries) are gathered for herbal medications that might aid in preventing certain types of cancers; although it has already been effectively used for treating benign prostate hyperplasia. The Saw Palmetto trees’ flowers are also an essential source for honey, as well as clusters of the palm being favorite hiding spots for the Florida panther, wasps, and rattlesnakes.

Saw Palmetto may sometimes be mistaken with dwarf palmetto or Sabal minor, as they have a similarity with leaf shape and size. The dwarf palmetto’s leaves are blue-green in color, has no spine on its leaf stems, and the fruits are circular that are approximately ½ -inch in width. The Saw Palmetto tree on the other hand, has leaves that spiral around its stem; with a circular outline about two to three feet across, which are deeply separated into a lot of dagger-shaped segments. The stems of the leaves are about two to three feet and are sharply saw-toothed, thus being name Saw Palmetto.

As a whole, Saw Palmetto is a branched, strong, fan palm, measuring 2-9 feet tall, and its stem normally remains underground or horizontally runs alongside the surface; in some instances, the stems develop in an arching or upright position. Its fruits are drupe-like and ovoid, which are ½ “wide, and matures from green into black on a split bunch shorter than its leaves.

The increasing popularity of Saw Palmetto in Europe, particularly its berries which are used for health medicinal purposes, has resulted to the Saw Palmetto being commercially grown. At present, it has become one of the big industries with more than twenty thousand tons being delivered to Europe alone to meet the market’s need.

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