Palmetto is a plant that grows in the Southern states of the U.S but can be found as far North as Rhode Island on the East coast, and as far North as Washington state in the West. It grows primarily along the coast, except in the south where it grows through the southern tip of Illinois.
There are about 14 species of palmetto. The Saw Palmetto is a popular herbal medicine, and grows only in a few areas of Louisiana. The Sabal Palmetto, or cabbage palmetto, can grow up to 60 feet-- much larger than many of the other species. The Dwarf Palmetto, which is usually just called "Palmetto," grows abundantly in the swamps and marshes of Louisiana. It grows from 3-6 feet in height and thrives in moist soil. In the early summer, it produces white flowers. In the Fall it produces a black fruit which has been a source of food for humans and many types of wildlife.