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Natural Materials Used for Building Chickees (Non-Timber Forest Products or NTFPs)


Palmetto Thatched Roofs


Plants species used for thatching varies dependent on the type of frond or leaf used. Main species used in North Central Florida are Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto).


Both are also used as food. Cabbage palm wood is used to make "salt ash." Cabbage palm fruits are eaten raw or ground to make a meal for bread. The base of the leaf or the terminal bud, referred to as the "cabbage" is eaten raw or cooked. Saw palmetto berries are sometimes eaten or used to make a juice.


There are a variety of palms more commonly used in South Florida, including Keys Thatch Palm (Thrinax morrisii), Florida Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiate), Royal palms (Roystonea spp.), and Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).


1A. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)



1B. Cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto)