|Trachycarpus subsp. var.|
Trachycarpus is a genus of eight species of palms native to Asia, from the Himalaya east to eastern China. They are fan palms (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with the leaves with a bare petiole terminating in a rounded fan of numerous leaflets. The leaf bases produce persistent fibers that often give the trunk a characteristic hairy appearance. All species are dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on separate plants although female plants will sometimes produce male flowers, allowing occasional self-pollination.
The most common species in cultivation is Trachycarpus fortunei (Chusan Palm or Windmill Palm), a temperate palm which is , in cultivated range, probably the northernmost palm species in the world, having been successfully grown in such cool and damp but relatively mild locales such as Scotland, southwestern Norway, south and southwest Iceland, extreme southwestern Utah ,coastal New Jersey and the panhandle of Alaska . It is frequent in gardens in the United Kingdom and Ireland, along the Atlantic coast of France and northern Spain, in southern and coastal Poland, in southern Switzerland and northern Italy, and in both the Pacific Northwest and the Southeastern United States of North America. The dwarf form known as "Trachycarpus wagnerianus" is unknown in the wild, and is considered to be a cultivar of T. fortunei (WCSP, World checklist of Palms). It resembles that species closely, differing mainly in its smaller and much stiffer leaves. Hybrids between them are reportedly intermediate in size and fully fertile.
Trachycarpus takil (the Kumaon Palm) is similar to T. fortunei; it is probably slightly less tolerant of cold. Other species less common in cultivation are T. geminisectus, T. princeps, T. latisectus, T. martianus, T. nanus and T. oreophilus. T. martianus and T. latisectus do not tolerate cold as well as T. fortunei, T. takil or T. wagnerianus. T. geminisectus, T. princeps and T. oreophilus are still too rare and small in cultivation to assess their full potential.
The trunk fibres produced by the leaf sheaths of Trachycarpus fortunei are harvested in China and elsewhere to make coarse but very strong rope, brooms and brushes. This use gives rise to the old alternative name "Hemp-palm". The fibrous leaf sheaths are also frequently used to clothe stems of artificial palms.
This genus is very popular among palm enthusiasts for its ability to withstand cold, especially in the form of damp, cool summer weather with relatively mild winter weather. These palms often tolerate snow in their native habitats and are the hardiest trunking palms.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Trachycarpus (Greek, rough or harsh and fruit). Palmaceae, tribe Corypheae. Indoor and outdoor palms, one of which is widely grown and very hardy.
Tall unarmed palms: lvs. suborbicular or reniform, folded, many-cut; segms. narrow; rachis none: spadices many between the lvs., stout, branched; spathes many, sheathing, coriaceous, tomentose, compressed; bracts minute: fls. small, polygamo-monoecious; sepals 3, ovate; petals 3, broadly ovate, valvate; stamens 6; carpels 3: drupes 1-3, globose or oblong.—About 4 species, Himalayas, China, and Japan. Monographed by Beccari in Webbia 1:41-72 (1905).
Fortune's palm (T. excelsa or T. Fortunei) is grown both indoors and out in America wherever palms are grown, although it is not one of the most popular species with northern florists. It is grown throughout California and even as far north as Oregon. It is commonly known by the name of Chinese windmill palm in southern California. There are two types of trachycarpus, those which have the trunks covered with old leaf-sheaths—the Himalayan type—and those which have smooth polished trunks—the far-eastern species. CH
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- Trachycarpus fortunei
- Trachycarpus geminisectus
- Trachycarpus latisectus
- Trachycarpus manipur
- Trachycarpus martianus
- Trachycarpus nanus
- Trachycarpus oreophilus
- Trachycarpus princeps
- Trachycarpus takil
- Trachycarpus wagnerianus
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963