Palmetto Tree vs Palm Tree – What’s the ACTUAL difference?

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In this article, we will be discussing a comparison of the Palmetto Tree vs Palm Tree. If you are one of them who may see a problem identifying similar trees and plants, then here we will be discussing a few quick tips to spot the differences and similarities between Palmetto Tree vs Palm Tree. Confusion between two trees is very common. Sometimes, the names of these two trees make people confused. The palm and Palmetto tree both belong to the same family but they are very much different from one another. 

You can observe differences simply by the appearance of the two trees. We will differ these two trees based on their characteristics like height, fruits on them, or shape of the leaves, further in this article but till then remember that even though they are members of the Arecaceae family of plants, live in similar habitats, and are sometimes regarded as subgroups, palmetto trees are not palms. They are classified differently by their genus and species, though.

Palmetto Tree vs Palm Tree( What’s the Actual Difference?)

Let us clear your confusion by comparing both the trees based on some points. We are sure that this comparison will help you a lot and will clear your doubts.

Height

Firstly, the basic difference that everyone can easily observe is the height of the tree. Compared to other varieties of palm trees, palmetto trees are smaller. A palm tree typically grows to a height of around 75 feet whereas a palmetto typically grows to a height of between 30 and 60 feet. Both the trees do not produce trunks or main stems in layers. The growth of a palm tree is vertical while in a palmetto tree, the main stem grows underground and horizontally.

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Leaves and trunk structure

You can also observe differences in their leaf structures easily. Compared to palms, palmetto leaves are substantially wider. The way that individual leaves come together to produce stems is another distinction. The leaves have parallel veins having lengths up to 36 inches. In contrast to palmetto leaves, which cluster at the base and spread outward in the shape of a fan, palms feature thin, spiny leaves that grow horizontally from a stalk in the shape of a feather and can exceed more than 36 inches. If we talk about their trunk, palm trees have long elongated trunks that grow vertically up to an incredible height while in palmetto trees, trunks are much shorter.

Flowers and Fruits

We can see different flowers on these trees. White flowers are observed on the desert, royal, or queen palm trees that are soft to touch. Similar to palm trees, the diversity of palmetto blooms varies. Long sticks with yellowish-white flowers are produced by saw palmettos, whereas shorter sticks with just the tip of the leaf are produced by dwarf palmetto. 

The major differences between both of these trees are the fruits they grow, Palm trees are usually a good source of coconut and dates while a palmetto tree produces small berries. This little fruit is frequently consumed by birds and other local creatures.

Growing Habitat

Generally, palm trees are not able to grow in temperate zones under 16°C or less since they grow tall. Heavy rainfall is also bad for their growth. In the tropical zone, these trees flourish in profusion. Unlike palms, palmettoes don’t reach very high heights. They protect themselves by covering themselves under a long tree. Because of this characteristic, palmettoes grow larger leaves so that more sunshine may hit them. Consequently, one of them is also referred to as the Dwarf Palmetto. Palmettoes don’t often grow in cooler climates, though.

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Uses

Usage of these two trees helps differentiate between them. We all have heard about palm wine, also known as Toddy. The extract of palms is used extensively to make beverages like it. You may also use palm oil. Palm oil is considered the best product in cosmetics. These trees can be used in various things like making jewelry, for handcrafts, and in some rituals. On the other hand, palmettos are used in providing various medicinal benefits. 

To know more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Maranta vs Calathea (Prayer Plant) – Differences and Similarities

The extract of palmettos is used as a medicine for improving urinary and reproductive health. Many cultures throughout the world utilize palmetto leaves as fuel and feed. Due to their smaller size and short height they can be grown in house lawns and small gardens which will decorate and enhance the beauty of the environment.

Which one should I choose to Grow?

Many people ask this question sometimes, which tree is the best between these two? Well, it is very difficult to answer this because both the trees have their pros and cons. The answer is dependent on your needs and requirements. If you are thinking of planting palm trees then keep the space factor in your mind because they can go up to incredible heights. While the palmetto tree refers to the people living in the northern parts because the trees are well grown in warm climatic conditions. 

We hope that now it would be easy for you to differentiate between these two trees. If you are thinking of planting any tree in your garden, we recommend you grow palmetto instead of a palm tree. The Palmetto tree is easy to maintain and can be grown in small spaces as compared to the palm tree. 

Concluding lines

In this guide, you come to know that The palm and Palmetto tree both belong to the same family but they are very much different from one another. You can observe differences simply by the appearance of the two trees. We will differ these two trees based on their characteristics like height, fruits on them, or shape of the leaves, further in this article but till then remember that even though they are members of the Arecaceae family of plants, live in similar habitats, and are sometimes regarded as subgroups, palmetto trees are not palms. I hope this guide will help you. 

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FAQ

What is the size of a palmetto tree leaf?

The size of the leaves of every plant differs from each other. In the case of the palmetto tree leaf, it’s the variant that comes under the category of 18 to  36 inches. The leaves of that tree look like a fan. 

What are the different types of palm trees?

There are various types of palm trees. Some of them are the Chinese fan palm tree, bottle palm tree and also queen palm tree, and many more. 

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