The Trachycarpus fortunei is native to eastern Asia and is commonly known as windmill palm. The windmill palm is a genus from the Arecaceae family.

The Trachycarpus fortunei is becoming more and more common. It does well in our climate with temperatures between about 86 and -4 F (35 and -20 ºC). An older and by now incorrect name for the Trachycarpus fortunei is Chamaerops excelsa.

The windmill palm is evergreen and has fan-shaped leaves. The trunk is covered with fibers that give protection against the cold. The Trachycarpus fortunei has just one trunk, but sometimes they are sold with multiple trunks. What it comes down to is that two or more young palms have been put in a pot which makes it appear that one palm has multiple trunks.

If you have just planted the Trachycarpus fortunei in your garden it is wise to give it extra protection against the frost in at least the first year. Too much moist is the biggest enemy in the winter (especially in the center of growth) and when that is combined with frost and cold wind that may have deadly consequences.

The windmill palm grows pretty fast. The first two or three years in the garden it will show a modest growth, but if you give it a sheltered sunny spot it will grow about 8 inches per year.

In the summer older windmill palms will bloom. The flowers are born near the top of the trunk. The flowers of the male Trachycarpus fortunei are bigger than those of the female palm. If you have a male and a female windmill palm the flowers of the female Trachycarpus fortunei will be followed by fruits. Those fruits very easily produce new windmill palms. In my garden I have dozens of new little palms that appeared spontaneously. At first they grow very slow.

 

 

Attracts bees: yes

Characteristic: evergreen

Deer resistant: yes

Exposure: sun/ part shade

Flower color: yellow

Flowering time: May – June

Foliage color: green

Fragrant flower: no

Hardiness: -20 ºC (-4 F)

Height: 26 ft 3 inches (8 m)

Soil: normal/ dry