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TRACHYCARPUS fortunei

Image of Trachycarpus fortunei

James H. Schutte

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

TRACHYCARPUS fortunei

Plant Common Name

Chinese Windmill Palm, Windmill Palm

General Description

A popular cultivated palm for warm temperate to cool subtropical landscapes, windmill palm is admired for its large, dark green, fan-shaped leaves. This native of central eastern Asia is among the most cold hardy of palms (arguably the hardiest that forms a tall trunk). In warm months, this evergreen indiscriminately bears attractive clusters of tiny yellow flowers. Those with female flowers are followed by blue-black fruits (male and female flowers exist on separate plants). This palm is commonly single stemmed and its trunk is dark gray-brown and covered with thatchy, coarse fibers.

Windmill palm grows best in full sun to partial shade. It can tolerate a wide range of soils, but excels in those with good drainage and warms quickly outside of winter; avoid thin sands. It isn't the best palm for regions with very hot summers and warm winters. From warm temperate to subtropical regions it makes an attractive, architectural tree for foundation or landscape beds. They are particularly attractive grouped in clusters with varying heights.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m

  • Width

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Blue, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Chocolate, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes