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PlantFiles: Dwarf Palmetto, Bluestem Palmetto, Blue Palm
Sabal minor 'McCurtain'

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sabal (SAY-bal) (Info)
Species: minor (MY-nor) (Info)
Cultivar: McCurtain

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By mtilton
Thumbnail #1 of Sabal minor by mtilton

By TDogg77
Thumbnail #2 of Sabal minor by TDogg77


6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive TDogg77 On Nov 15, 2013, TDogg77 from Belle Vernon, PA wrote:

I planted two of these palms in the spring of 2012. They took some damage in their first winter in ground but retained a significant amount of green foliage. The plants recovered quickly and looked good by summer.

Hopefully the plants have acclimated and will do even better this year. I definitely recommend heavy mulching and wind protection for zone 6 in year one and perhaps beyond. Good palm to try in this zone. I believe long term it can do well.

Positive SuburbanNinja80 On Nov 4, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

This palm has to be slowest than rest of my sabal minor palms. It will be a good house palm until it its full adult leaves.

2014 winter was a really bad evey palm was burned and have to restart growing leaves but this palm was under a rose cone and it lived I hope.

Positive hardyinokc On Feb 19, 2010, hardyinokc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

Planted one of these at my mother's house in NW OK (zone 6). it has done great without any protection & minimal mulching. Have not lost a single leaf to cold.

Positive RonDEZone7a On Jan 21, 2008, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Sabal minor "McCurtain" appears to be hardier than the typical Sabal minor, in my Wilmington, Delaware garden. I have several "McCurtains" and have yet to see any winter damage on the leaves, whereas regular Sabal minors have gotten their leaves scorched if planted with no winter cover.

Positive Hikaro_Takayama On Feb 12, 2007, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought 2 one gallon sized specimens from Gerry's Jungle and planted them in my yard this past spring.

This winter, we've had three nights where the low got below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, two of which it got down to near 0, yet these palms (which both still have the juvennile strap leaves) suffered NO damage, despite the low temps occurring during two weeks of sub-freezing temperatures (it finally got above freezing today). I think that this palm could easily become naturalized in Zone 6, and I'd reccomend it to anybody.

As an additional plus, rabbits, deer and other animals WON'T eat it, unlike many of my other evergreen plants.

The only drawback is that it grows rather slow, so I'd reccomend getting at least a 3 gallon plant (about the size that its growth speed increases) unless you're the patient type.

Update: I've now had these plants in the ground for 5 years, and they've hung in there, despite getting entirely too much shade and absolutely zero protection during the winter. I'll definitely reccomend them for hardy palm growers.

Update, May 2014: I just moved the three McCurtain variety dwarf palmettos to my new house last spring, and they seemed to appreciate the additional sunlight in the new yard. This past winter, however, was the coldest one to hit the area in 17 years, and the USDA temperature monitoring station at nursery 2 miles up the road recorded a low of -15 degrees.

While they all experienced almost total leaf kill, the bases & stems of all the leaves, as well as the spears remained green & healthy, so they should all eventually make a full recovery. Definitely a solid palm choice for zone 6

Positive sylvainyang On Jun 14, 2006, sylvainyang from Edmond, OK wrote:

A native palm from McCurtain County of Oklahoma, 50 miles away of northern Texas. Cold hardy record is -24 F in Wichita Kansas. It never grow a trunk but stays green in extreme freeze a perfect edge plant or shrub plant. Slow grow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Wilmington, Delaware
Chicago, Illinois
Plainfield, Indiana
Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Edmond, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania
Fayetteville, Pennsylvania
Greencastle, Pennsylvania

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