Palm - Dwarf Palmetto

Scientific name: Sabal minor
Abundance: plentiful
What: The "heart" of the plant, fruit
How: Raw, cooked
Where: Shady, moist, low areas
When: Buds all year, fruit late summer to mid-fall
Nutritional Value: rich source of carbohydrates
Other uses: Fibers/cordage
Dangers: very pointy leaves

Dwarf palmetto plant.

Stand of Dwarf Palmettos.

Fruit (edible when flat black in color).


Root section dug up and peeled to reach terminal bud and heart.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Dwarf palmettos are good sources of calories all year. The easiest way to get the "heart" of this palm is to dig up, root ball and all, then peel/cut away the fronds. Eventually you'll reach a inner section that looks like the inner portions of celery or an artichoke heart. Cut away the roots and anything still stiff or hard. Anything soft is edible. It has a somewhat bitter, unusual taste raw. Roasting it makes it a little sweeter.

The berries begin appearing in late summer and are usually edible into mid-fall in the fall. They are very nutritious and supposedly are good for the prostrate.

Dwarf palmettos grow in low, wet, shady areas. If you are looking to buy property and dwarf palmettos are present you can be pretty sure that area floods often!

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