Sabal minor

Source: KENPEI

Sabal minor

Sabal minor or Dwarf Palmetto is a small palm with generally subterranean trunk. Older specimens can develop a trunk up to 3 m.

Widely spread in the south-east of the United States where it generally grows in humid areas: swamp, undergrowth, riverbanks but has been found in dry terrain in Texas as well.

One of the most hardy among Sabal with -15 °C, can take -20 °C when older and for brief periods.


Sabal minor is a palm tree with a subterranean or creeping trunk, sometimes with up to 5.4 m high upright trunk, depending on its habitat and situation.

The leaves are costapalmate, 1.5-2 m long, with segments of 80 cm long. They are dark green.

The flowers appear in an upright and slightly overhanging 2 m long inflorescence that protrudes above the leaf crown, they are yellow-white, 5 mm in diameter.

The fruit is round, black or dark brown, about 6 mm wide and contains 1 seed.


Fronds can be used for weaving.


Common names:

Blue palm, blue palmetto, blue stem palmetto, bluestem palmetto, bush palmetto, dwarf palmetto, little blue stem, little blue stem palm, little bluestem, scrub palm, scrub palmetto


Brahea minima, Chamaerops acaulis, Chamaerops arundinacea, Chamaerops glabra, Chamaerops louisiana, Chamaerops sabaloides, Corypha minor, Corypha pumila, Rhapis acaulis, Rhapis arundinacea, Sabal adansonii, Sabal adansonii, Sabal adiantina, Sabal caroliniana, Sabal deeringiana, Sabal floribunda, Sabal glabra, Sabal louisiana, Sabal minima, Sabal pumila, Sabal serrulata var. minima


Sabal: local South-American name for this palm tree
Minor: from the Latin minor (smaller)


South-east of the United States of America (USA)


USDA zone 6-11 (exceptionally USDA zone 5)
Younger plants -15 °C, older specimens can resist to -20 °C for brief periods



Will do well in a variety of well drained soils


Full sun or partial shade, will do better than other Sabal in shade


In the garden: water the first few years. In pot: keep the substrate moist.


In the garden: organic matter in spring. In pot: fertilizer for palm trees.



Sowing instructions:

  • soak 1-2 days in lukewarm water
  • sow in humid light sowing substrate
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination: 6 to 12 months