(Science: botany) A name given to palms of several genera and species growing in the west Indies and the southern united states. In the United States, the name is applied especially to the Chamaerops, or sabal, Palmetto, the cabbage tree of Florida and the Carolinas. See cabbage tree, under Cabbage. Royal palmetto, the west Indian Sabal umbraculifera, the trunk of which, when hollowed, is used for water pipes, etc. The leaves are used for thatching, and for making hats, ropes, etc. Saw palmetto, Sabal serrulata, a native of Georgia, south Carolina, and Florida. The nearly impassable jungle which it forms is called palmetto scrub.

Origin: Dim. Of palm the tree: cf. Sp. Palmito.

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