Florida has the largest variety of native palm trees out of all 49 continental states and the most palm out of all 50 states. Some, such as the Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto) are very common and number in the millions. Others, such as the Miami Palmetto (Sabal miamiensis) are extinct in habitat and found only in a couple private gardens. In an effort to preserve the native flora in Florida, some places, such as Sanibel Island in southwest Florida have adopted landscape laws that require all yards to have at least 75% native palms and plants. While we believe this to generally be a good practice, the problem is that common palms end up being used, instead of rare or endangered Florida natives.
From the diminutive, frost hardy Needle Palm to the stately, cold-sensitive Coconut Palm, Florida certainly has a wide variety of native species.
Following is a list of Florida native palms. Other lists may differ slightly, but that is most likely because they are not privy to some of the rarer or less common species. The common Coconut Palm has been included, although it likely originated in the South Pacific and made its way over here by flotsam.
Utilizing native palms in a Florida landscape is beneficial in that they can typically survive on nature's sun and rainwater. Thus, there is no need to run irrigation or fertilize very often. Of course, you will want to water the palms right after they are planted for about 30-60 days so they can establish a good root system. After they are established, you can simply sit back and enjoy their beauty!
LIST OF FLORIDA NATIVE PALMS:
1) Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Most common Florida native.
2) Dwarf Cabbage Palm (Sabal minor)
From northern Florida and Southeast US.
3) Miami Palmetto Palm (Sabal miamiensis)
Nearly extinct in wild.
4) Scrub Palmetto (Sabal etonia
Like Sabal minor, but with arching leaves.
5) Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)
Fruit used to make prostrate health supplements.
6) Needle Palm (Rhapidophyllum hystrix)
Most cold hardy palm in the world (-15 deg F).
7) Royal Palm (Roystonea regia or elata)
Tallest native palm (100 feet).
8) Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiata)
Native to Florida Keys.
9) Key Thatch Palm (Leucothrinax morrisii)
Also native to the Kays; used to be Thrinax morrisii).
10) Silver Thatch Palm (Coccothrinax argentata)
Found in the Keys, bluish leaves.
11) Cherry Palm; Buccaneer Palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii)
Native to Long Key and Elliot Key; slow growing.
12) Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)
World's most common palm.
13) Everglades Palm; Pouritis Palm (Acoelorraphe wrightii)
Native to the Everglades.