Sabal etonia, commonly known as scrub palmetto or scrub palm, is a small, shrubby, evergreen palm which features a subterranean trunk and a crown bud that is located below the soil surface. This palm is native to the central and southeastern scrublands of Florida. It is found and protected in the Ocala National Forest. Each plant features 4 to 7, costopalmate leaves (to 3’ across), with each leaf featuring 25-50 narrow, rigid, pointed one-ribbed segments in the shape of a fan. Segments are joined at the base. Segments develop marginal thread-like filaments as they mature. Plants typically grow to 3-4’ (less frequently to 6’) tall and to 4-5’ wide. Fragrant white flowers bloom in spring-summer in inflorescences rising to the same height as the leaves, but often shorter. Flowers are followed by fleshy, spherical to ovoid, one-seeded drupes (to 1/2” long) that mature to black. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8, but may survive winters in Zone 7b if sited in protected locations and mulched in winter. It is easily grown in organically rich, moderately fertile, evenly moist but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It also grows well in dry sandy soils. Best performance is in part shade. Established plants have drought tolerance. Brings tropical flair to part shade areas of the landscape. Evergreen foliage is unique and attractive in winter. Specimen or groups. Containers.
Growing Instructions for the scrub palmetto
- Fill several pots with drainage holes in the bottom with a well-drained potting mix such as peat/perlite, sandy soil or a sandy/potting soil mix. 2. Sow the seeds on the surface and cover them with 1/4 inch of soil. 3. Water the seeds and let the water drain from the pots. The soil needs to be moist but well-drained so water them regularly but don't let the soil become water-logged. If the pots have dishes at the base, remove the dishes so that the water can drain from the pots. 4. Put the pots in a warm, sunny location. Sabals can grow in the sun or shade but they do better in full sun. The seeds take 3-4 months to germinate. Many palm seeds take a while to begin to grow. 5. When the seedlings have a few leaves, they can be transplanted into their permanent location.