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Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens (W. Bartram) Small

Brief Summary

    Serenoa: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Serenoa repens, commonly known as saw palmetto, is the sole species currently classified in the genus Serenoa. It is a small palm, growing to a maximum height around 7–10 ft (2.1–3.0 m). It is endemic to the subtropical Southeastern United States, most commonly along the south Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains and sand hills. It grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal areas, and as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks.

Comprehensive Description

    Serenoa
    provided by wikipedia

    Serenoa repens, commonly known as saw palmetto, is the sole species currently classified in the genus Serenoa. It is a small palm, growing to a maximum height around 7–10 ft (2.1–3.0 m). It is endemic to the subtropical Southeastern United States, most commonly along the south Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains and sand hills. It grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal areas, and as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood hammocks.[3]

    Description

     src=
    Saw palmettos beneath the larger evergreen canopy in the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida

    Erect stems or trunks are rarely produced, but are found in some populations. It is a hardy plant; extremely slow-growing, and long-lived, with some plants, especially in Florida possibly being as old as 500–700 years.[4]

    Saw palmetto is a fan palm, with the leaves that have a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of about 20 leaflets. The petiole is armed with fine, sharp teeth or spines that give the species its common name. The teeth or spines are easily capable of breaking the skin, and protection should be worn when working around a saw palmetto. The leaves are light green inland, and silvery-white in coastal regions. The leaves are 1–2 m in length, the leaflets 50–100 cm long. They are similar to the leaves of the palmettos of genus Sabal. The flowers are yellowish-white, about 5 mm across, produced in dense compound panicles up to 60 cm long. The fruit is a large reddish-black drupe and is an important food source for wildlife and historically for humans. The plant is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species such as Batrachedra decoctor, which feeds exclusively on the plant.

    The generic name honors American botanist Sereno Watson.

    Medical use

    Main article: Saw palmetto extract

    S. repens extract has been researched into treatment for people with prostate cancer.[3] However, according to the American Cancer Society, "available scientific studies do not support claims that saw palmetto can prevent or treat prostate cancer in humans".[5]

    A meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration found that saw palmetto berry extract given therapeutically, even at double and triple doses, did not improve urinary flow or improve the prostate gland size in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).[6] An earlier meta-analysis had concluded that saw palmetto extract is safe and effective for mild-to-moderate BPH compared to placebo.[7] Two large trials published between the newer and older meta-analysis found the extract to be no different from placebo.[8][9]

    Ethnobotany

    Indigenous names are reported to include: tala (Choctaw); cani (Timucua); ta ́:la (Koasati); taalachoba ("big palm", Alabama); ta:laɬ a ́ kko ("big palm", Creek); talco ́:bˆı ("big palm", Mikasuki); talimushi ("palmetto's uncle", Choctaw), and guana (Taino, possibly).[10] Saw palmetto fibers have been found among materials from indigenous people as far north as Wisconsin and New York, strongly suggesting this material was widely traded prior to European contact.[11] The leaves are used for thatching by several indigenous groups, so commonly so that a location in Alachua County, Florida, is named Kanapaha ("palm house").[12] The fruit may have been used to treat an unclear form of fish poisoning by the Seminoles and Bahamians.[13]

    See also

    References

     src= Wikimedia Commons has media related to Serenoa repens.  src= Wikispecies has information related to Serenoa repens
    1. ^ "Serenoa repens". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-04-12..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
    3. ^ a b Serenoa in Flora of North America
    4. ^ Tanner, George W.; J. Jeffrey Mullahey; David Maehr (July 1996). "Saw-palmetto: An Ecologically and Economically Important Native Palm" (PDF). Circular WEC-109. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-04.
    5. ^ "Saw Palmetto". American Cancer Society. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
    6. ^ Tacklind, James; Macdonald, Roderick; Rutks, Indy; Stanke, Judith U.; Wilt, Timothy J. (2012-12-12). "Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 12: CD001423. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001423.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 23235581.
    7. ^ Boyle, P; Robertson C; Lowe F; Roehrborn C (April 2004). "Updated meta-analysis of clinical trials of Serenoa repens extract in the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia". BJU Int. 93 (6): 751–756. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2003.04735.x. PMID 15049985.
    8. ^ Bent S, Kane C, Shinohara K, et al. (February 2006). "Saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia". N. Engl. J. Med. 354 (6): 557–566. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa053085. PMID 16467543.
    9. ^ Barry MJ, Meleth S, Lee JY, Kreder KJ, Avins AL, Nickel JC, Roehrborn CG, Crawford ED, Foster HE, Kaplan SA, McCullough A, Andriole GL, Naslund MJ, Williams OD, Kusek JW, Meyers CM, Betz JM, Cantor A, McVary KT (2011). "Effect of increasing doses of saw palmetto extract on lower urinary tract symptoms: a randomized trial". JAMA. 306 (12): 1344–51. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1364. PMC 3326341. PMID 21954478.
    10. ^ Austin, DF (2004). Florida Ethnobotany. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-2332-4.
    11. ^ Whitford AC (1941). "Textile fibers used in eastern aboriginal North America". Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History. 38: 5–22.
    12. ^ Simpson, JC (1956). A Provisional Gazetteer of Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation. Tallahassee: Florida Geological Survey.
    13. ^ Sturtevant, WC (1955). The Mikasuki Seminole: Medical Beliefs and Practices. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the term: forest

    Saw palmetto is endemic to peninsular Florida and the coastal plains
    from southeastern Louisiana to southern South Carolina [10,19].



    Distribution map from USGS:
    1977 USDA, Forest Service map provided by Thompson and others [44].

    Distribution
    provided by eFloras
    Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C.

Morphology

    Comments
    provided by eFloras
    The range of this species extends from Beaufort, Jasper, Colletin, and Charleston counties, South Carolina to St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. Reports of it from Arkansas, North Carolina, and Texas are in error.

    Two or three leaf-color morphs are found in Serenoa (A. D. Hawkes 1950). The green type is more widespread, and the glaucous or blue-gray type seems to be more abundant in coastal sites of southeastern Florida. Serenoa repens forma glauca Moldenke was described as differing from the typical form of the species in having glaucous leaf blades (H. N. Moldenke 1967). Since a type specimen for S. repens is lacking, it is impossible to know if Moldenke’s form differs from the type. The genetic basis for these color differences is not understood.

    Serenoa repens apparently is pollinated by bees. Flowering and fruiting are not necessarily annual events, and some years see more abundant flowering than others (J. B. Hilmon 1968). Even when flowering is abundant, fruit production is erratic (D. Smith 1972); the causes are quite unknown. When fruits are present, they are eagerly sought by black bears (D. S. Maehr 1984; D. S. Maehr and J. R. Brady 1984), white-tailed deer (R. F. Harlow 1961), raccoons, foxes, opossums, and various birds (J. B. Hilmon 1968).

    Serenoa fruits are the source of a steroidal drug that inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which binds to receptors in the prostate gland and in hair follicles (B. C. Bennett and J. R. Hicklin, in press1998). This inhibition is the biochemical basis for the use of Serenoa extracts in treating benign prostrate swelling and baldness. Bennett and Hicklin provided a complete review of the uses of Serenoa in traditional and modern medicine, as well as its use as a fiber and thatch plant.

    Description
    provided by eFloras
    Stems usually creeping, branched, sometimes ascending, to 1--3 m. Leaves yellow-green, green, or silvery green, stiff; petioles finely to strongly serrate; hastula present on both sides of leafabaxially and adaxially. Flowers creamy white, fragrant, 4--5 mm. Fruits ripening from green through orange to black, length ca. 2 cm, diam. 1 cm. 2n = 36.

Diagnostic Description

    Synonym
    provided by eFloras
    Corypha repens W. Bartram, Travels Carolina, 61. 1791; Brahea serrulata (Michaux) H. Wendland; Chamaerops serrulata Michaux; Corypha obliqua W. Bartram; Sabal serrulata (Michaux) Nuttall ex Schultes & Schultes f.; Serenoa serrulata (Michaux) G. Nicholson

Look Alikes

    Lookalikes
    provided by EOL staff

    Serenoa repens may be confused in the field with some low-growing species of Sabal palms, but Serenoa repens petioles (leafstalks) are covered with many tiny prickles and the leaves lack the prominent extension of the petiole along some or much of the length of the leaf that is evident in Sabal. Everglade Palm (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii) has green flowers (rather than white) and larger, stouter, usually curved orange prickles on the petiole. (Petrides 1988)

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by eFloras
    Pinelands, dunes, sand pine scrub, mesic hammocks and woodlands, plants colonial, often forming dense stands in the understory; 0--50m.

General Ecology

    Fire Management Considerations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: cover, fire suppression, fireline intensity, flame length, fruit

    Saw palmetto is well adapted to fire, making it difficult to control.
    It can be held in check using fire, but it remains vigorous and recovers
    [40,22]. Very short fire-rotations (1 to 3 years) perpetuate
    saw palmetto understories and kill pine seedlings on palmetto-prairies
    which might otherwise support well-stocked pine stands [40]. Summer
    fires are most effective at removing saw palmetto top-growth [18].

    The effects of fire suppression on saw palmetto depends on the plant
    communities it occupies. Fire suppression may decrease saw palmetto
    cover in scrub communities where other understory hardwoods can overtop
    it. In contrast, suppression, long rotations, and light fires cause
    Southern pinelands to become overgrown with saw palmetto [7].

    Overgrown saw palmetto understories constitute fire hazards, which
    promote wildfires that may kill pine seedlings and saplings [8,40].
    Tall saw palmetto understories also carry wildfires into the overstory,
    killing mature trees [33,36]. Saw palmetto is the largest contributor
    to understory fuels in the Florida pinelands [36].

    Consult Ward [42] to predict particulate matter emmision rates from
    fireline intensity and flame length for prescribed fires in the
    saw palmetto-gallberry type. Saw palmetto foliage yields 2,150,000
    calories per pound (4,800 dcCal/g) and is 34 percent ash [21].

    To maintain fruit production for white-tailed deer, Fults [13]
    recommends burning saw palmetto understories every 3 to 5 years.
    Life Form
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: shrub, tree

    Tree, Shrub
    Post-fire Regeneration
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: caudex, root crown

    survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex
    survivor species; on-site surviving rhizomes

Cyclicity

    Flowering/Fruiting
    provided by eFloras
    Flowering spring.
    Phenology
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info on this topic.

    Saw palmetto blooms between April and July [10,19,32]. Maximum spadix
    initiation begins after the danger of frost is past and may be
    stimulated by rising temperatures. The fruits ripen in September and
    October. Maximum saw palmetto growth occurs during the summer rainy
    season, achieving 80 percent of annual production between April and
    October [8,14,32].

Management

    Management considerations
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: competition, cover, forbs, forest, fuel

    Saw palmetto is a pest and fire hazard in Southern timber stands. It
    contributes large amounts of combustible fuel to forest understories and
    competes with pines (Pinus spp.) for moisture, nutrients, and space
    [3,21].

    Silvicultural and range management objectives often call for
    saw palmetto control. Centuries of open range, abusive burning, and
    excessive grazing have converted many flatwood-bluestem (Andropogon
    spp.) ranges into flatwood-saw palmetto ranges [18]. Saw palmetto
    control releases palatable grasses and forbs for livestock and deer, and
    reduces competition with conifers [13]. Mist-blower applications of the
    herbicide 2,4,5-T provide effective control [19,23], especially when
    used in conjunction with prescribed burning [3] or other defoliation
    treatments [23]. Following defoliation by fire or mechanical treatment,
    saw palmetto should be sprayed when new shoots appear (approximately 6
    months later) [38].

    Saw palmetto does not regenerate well following mechanical removal [5].
    Mechanical disturbance which dislodges, uproots, and cuts saw palmetto
    stems and rhizomes provides effective control [19]. Roller-drum
    choppers pulled in tandem at offset angles [13] or perpendicular to each
    other [28] may reduce saw palmetto cover by 90 percent 2 years after
    treatment [13]. Chop-rest-chop rotations provide continued range
    maintenance [18].

    When wildlife or cover management goals require saw palmetto
    enhancement, use rock phosphate fertilizer [28] or site drainage [40] to
    increase cover.

Benefits

    Economic Significance
    provided by EOL authors

    This plant is noted for its ability to effectively treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and many other medical uses. Additionaly, Serenoa repens' petiole fibers are used by the Seminoles of southern Florida to make dolls.

Taxonomy

    Common Names
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    More info for the terms: shrub, tree

    saw palmetto


    TAXONOMY:
    The scientific name for saw palmetto is Serenoa repens (Bartr.) Small
    (Arecaceae) [10]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or
    forms [24].


    LIFE FORM:
    Tree, Shrub

    FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
    No special status

    OTHER STATUS:
    NO-ENTRY





    DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
    SPECIES: Serenoa repens
    GENERAL DISTRIBUTION:
    Saw palmetto is endemic to peninsular Florida and the coastal plains
    from southeastern Louisiana to southern South Carolina [10,19].
    Taxonomy
    provided by Fire Effects Information System Plants
    The scientific name for saw palmetto is Serenoa repens (Bartr.) Small
    (Arecaceae) [10]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or
    forms [24].