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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[1]. A sweet flavour but with a soapy taste and a strong vanilla-like aroma[1]. Regular consumption of the fruit is supposed to be very beneficial to the health, improving the digestion and helping to increase weight and strength[1]. Seed - raw or cooked[1].

Fruit

Material uses

The leaf stems have been used in making baskets[2]. The plant has been used to make brushes and cordage[2].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Saw palmetto berries are a tonic herb that is used in the treatment of debility, urinary tract problems and for reducing enlarged prostate glands[3].

The partially dried ripe fruit is aphrodisiac, urinary antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and tonic[4][5]. 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[5][1]. Saw palmetto is one of the few Western herbs that are considered to be anabolic (strengthening and building body tissue and encouraging weight gain)[3]. The fruit pulp, or a tincture, is given to those suffering from wasting disease, general debility and failure to thrive[3]. 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[3]. 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[3]. The fruit is also used in the treatment of colds, coughs, irritated mucous membranes, asthma etc[4][5].

A suppository of the powdered fruits, in cocoa butter, has been used as a uterine and vaginal tonic[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

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[6].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Serenoa repens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a warm sunny position in a moist but well-drained soil[7]. Plants can succeed in quite dry soils so long as their roots can penetrate to underground water[7]. 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[6]. 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[7]. 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[7]. 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[7].

Plants usually sucker freely in the wild and form dense thickets[6].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Serenoa repens. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Serenoa repens.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Serenoa repens
Genus
Serenoa
Family
Palmae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Salinity
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
3 x 2 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.2 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.4 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 McMillan-Browse. P. Palms for Cooler Climates. Trebah Enterprises. ISBN 0 9521952 0 8 (1993-00-00)


Facts about "Serenoa repens"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyPalmae +
Belongs to genusSerenoa +
Has binomial nameSerenoa repens +
Has common nameSaw Palmetto +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partFruit + and Seed +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure +, High wind + and Salinity +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateSlow +
Has hardiness zone8 +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useBasketry +, Brush + and String +
Has mature height3 +
Has mature width2 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntiseptic +, Aphrodisiac +, Diuretic +, Expectorant +, Sedative +, Tonic + and Uterine tonic +
Has salinity toleranceTolerant +
Has search nameserenoa repens + and saw palmetto +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameSerenoa repens +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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