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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trachycarpus fortunei - Windmill Palm

One of the hardiest palms. You can see them up in the Seattle area and its one of the only palms that can grow in the UK. Often seen in containers, in planters due to their slow growth rate.

Very slow growing to 30' x 10' wide, slender single stem, more slender at the base than higher up. Small canopy and rough hairy trunk.




Leaves are palmate, 2' diameter, round, with 30-50 segments, not really big for most palms and a held pretty close to the stem (short petiole)



Flowers are creamy yellow in a cluster held in the lowest part of the head. While large in size, considered small for many palms.




Fruit is, well a drupe but can't say if I have ever seen them.

Stems are quite distinct. They are covered with persistent fibers. They are stiff and thick. Leaf bases are usually also persistent. As mentioned above they are narrow at the base and getting wider at the tip, not that common occurrence.




Large examples abound but several come to mind, one is on Soquel Dr at the apartments at 9104 Soquel Drive in Aptos, pretty old ones

One on School St at the Mission, which by the way has the following palms either on the green area or along Mission:
Syagrus romanzoffiana on High St., Phoenix canariensis, Phoenix dactyliferaTrachycarpus fortunei on School St.,  Chamaerops humilis, Washingtonia robusta, and Jubaea chiliensis along Mission Ave. below the mission proper.

Morrissey Dr, which is also a good place to see a few different palms.

Misidentification: hmmm, not sure unless you encounter another Trachycarpus, then all bets are off.

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