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Plants of the UNF Campus

Serenoa repens - Saw palmetto
Family Arecaceae


The saw palmetto is the only species in the genus Serenoa. It is a common native palm throughout Florida. It is a multi-stemmed, shrubby palm. Leaves range from yellow-green to gray-blue in color. Once considered a weed in pasture lands, it has grown in popularity for urban gardens and landscapes. It is a very adaptable plant, tolerating wet, dry, shady and sunny sites. Oily fruits are produced in fall. They are a very important food for black bears putting on fat for the winter. Also, the fruits are used medicinally by people.


Plants can be seen throughout the campus natural areas.


A shrubby plant to six feet tall or more.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun to part shade

Water: very drought tolerant when established, also tolerates high levels of soil moisture

Soil: very adaptable, no special requirements

Other – this plant is notoriously difficult to transplant


This native plant is easy to grow in northeast Florida. Plant it higher than standing water in sun or shade.

Serenoa repens