17 February 2019 – Palmettos in Myrtle Beach

17 February 2019 Botany Bill JournalNon-Refuge

Today, my wife Becky and I paid a short visit to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Visitors to Myrtle Beach can’t help but notice the Palmettos planted around the city and other cities in the area. Here are some photos of a few of these trees. As far as I can determine, their scientific name is Sabal palmetto (Walt.) Lodd. (If this isn’t it, I would sure would like to know what it is.) There are forums on the internet which discuss the nativity of this in the Myrtle Beach area. They are definitely planted throughout the city, so I could see how they might not be considered to be native. Others state that they are native, and people have just planted them in areas where they were not naturally growing. Their native range is said to be in coastal areas from southeastern North Carolina to Florida and west along the Gulf Coast to Texas. Whatever is the case, it was fascinating to observe them. I was struck by the frond remnants found on many of them. They are called bootstraps. Some of the trees we observed had fruits still on them, and took some photos of them.  We also noted a smaller species of Palmettos growing in the woods nearby. As far as I understand, they are probably Sabal minor or the dwarf palmetto. Wish I had more time to do some foraying.

 


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