Range: Southeastern USA
This palm rarely grows upright, usually leaning or creeping along the ground. Native to Florida and nearby southeastern states, saw palmettos are sturdy plants that can thrive in tough conditions. They live along coastal dunes in blazing sun or in the shade beneath forest trees. Individual plants can live for centuries, forming ever-expanding mounds of branching stems. They are famous for surviving forest fires and are among the first plants to resprout in the charred landscape. The saw palmetto is named for its saw-like leaf stalks, which bear fine, sharp teeth. Its fruits have purported medicinal properties, used as a treatment for prostate conditions.