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Scrub Palmetto

Sabal etonia

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sabal (SAY-bal) (Info)
Species: etonia



Foliage Color:


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


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Mobile, Alabama

Thousand Oaks, California

Bartow, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Citra, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Centreville, Maryland

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Prosperity, South Carolina

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 23, 2016, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

Surprisingly more cold hardy than I expected. Native to the Southeastern most part of the US. Very similar to Sabal Minor (dwarf palmetto) but prefers a drier site. So far I have had success with Sabal Etonia here in Eastern Maryland (zone 7) with temperatures below 10F on a few occasions and no damage. The overall appearance is very similar to a Sabal Palmetto (cabbage palm) without a trunk, and greener than Sabal Minor. Like most Sabals, its very sensitive to being transplanted so its best to leave it alone if possible. Overall, this is a palm that is often overlooked since many believe its not as attractive as other palms, but its still worth a try since like most Sabals, its a fairly low maintenance plant, has good cold tolerance, and is heat and drought tolerant as well.


On Feb 20, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Scrub Palmetto (Sabal etonia) is native and endemic to the dry sandy sites and Florida Scrub habitats of much of north-central and central Florida and parts of southeastern Florida (zones 8b to 10b). It is often confused with the more widespread and also native Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens). However, Scrub Palmetto generally is shorter than the Saw Palmetto. Also, the fronds of the Scrub Palmetto generally do not have as sharp spines as the Saw Palmetto or may not have any spines at all. The flower stalk of Sabal etonia (Scrub Palmetto) also does not extend as much as Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto).

Like Saw Palmetto, Scrub Palmetto is useful for wildlife.


On Jun 22, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

THis native Florida palm is usually stemless and has markedly costapalmate leaves that are often a light green. This palm is often confused with Sabal minor, which is the other stemless palm (both can have stems up to 6' tall), but that palm has flat palmate leaves, is more blue-greenish and that palm has flowers that extend way beyond the leaf length. Sabal etonia's flowers are usually as short, or shorter than the leaves and usually sit on the ground. It can also be confused with Sabal palmetoo seedlings, but those don't flower as a trunkless palm and usually have darker green leaves.