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The saw palmetto is said to be the most common palm in the United States. In Florida, natural stands are found throughout the state. Its common name refers to the numerous fine, saw-like teeth found along the edges of the leaf-stems. The tiny fragrant flowers bloom in inflorescense scenting the air all around them.

The saw palmetto is an important part of Florida’s natural ecosystems. Numerous animals and insects are known to use palmetto as food or shelter. Studies have shown that saw palmetto is used by female Florida panthers and black bears for protection of their young. The palmetto thicket not only provides shelter and protection, but young bear cubs have been observed eating the abundant palm hearts. The list of animal species using the palmetto as food or cover is impressive. Hundreds of bird species, mammals and reptiles call the palmetto thicket home.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat
Clicked at Oscar Scherer State Park

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