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Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens): An Emerging Forest Resource in the Southeastern United States

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Saw palmetto fruits collected from the wild are becoming a significant economic resource in Florida and south Georgia. The fruits are used to produce a drug for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Here we introduce saw palmetto as an emerging resource for foresters and land managers, evaluate potential management practices, and discuss harvesting, processing and marketing aspects. Fruit production can be variable, affected by fruit disease, insect damage to flowers, depletion of plant carbohydrate reserves and drought. Controlled burning can enhance flowering and fruiting, but frequent burning may severely limit fruit production. Fruit harvesting in late summer is currently dominated by a freelance market. Fruits are dried immediately after harvesting, and most are shipped to Europe, where they are ground and active ingredients extracted with solvents. With recognition of the medicinal use of saw palmetto increasing, demand for fruits is likely to rise. South. J. Appl. For. 24(3):129-134.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: University of Georgia, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA

Publication date: August 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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