Dwarf Palmetto, Bluestem Palmetto, Blue Palm 'McCurtain'

Sabal minor

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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jacksonville, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 25, 2017, PhillyLover from Philadelphia Suburbs, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Someone in Northern Florida gave me seed from mature plants that he said were sold to him as 'McCurtain.' He has several other Sabal minor types in his garden so who knows what genetics went into this seed. They all germinated easily and were grown for a year to a full one gallon size before they were planted in the garden in full sun in exposed areas. Their first winter in the ground was the coldest in 30 years here. They survived but all growth above the ground was fried. They pushed new growth over the summer. Three years later, they are now all about 2' or so tall and bushy. They get no winter protection and usually have some pinhole cold damage and tearing from winter winds each year. By mid-summer they have regrown fresh leaves. I think I can expect flowers for the first time this y... read more


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.
Update Summer of 2016
My Sabal Minor McCurtains are still going strong. One has even produced flowers and fruit for the first time!


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.


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.


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.


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 t... read more


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.