Trachycarpus fortunei – stripped trunk

Chusan Palm, Windmill Palm

From: £520.95

Certainly one of our favourite palms, Trachycarpus fortunei has become so beloved because of how well it thrives in the cooler temperate climates of UK gardens.

The Windmill Palm is an exceptionally hardy evergreen tree that forms a single hairy trunk and attractive large palmate leaves, which form an impressive crown as it grows. In summer it produces drooping panicles of yellowish flowers which add to its exotic appearance.

We are one of the few nurseries offering Trachycarpus with stripped trunks. This is an aesthetic practice that dates back over 1,000 years and is popular in China. Hardiness won’t be affected in most areas of the U.K. mainland.


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Origin: China
Genus: Trachycarpus
Species / Cultivar: fortunei
Common Name: Chusan Palm, Windmill Palm
Synonym: Chamaerops excelsa

Plant Biography

Native to South Central China, these palms grow in a range of environments – from exposed wooded hillsides to forests where young plants live in low light conditions until they mature. It’s from these variable roots that the Chusan Palm is hardy enough to thrive in our climate.

As well as its common names of Windmill or Chusan Palm, you may hear Trachycarpus fortunei referred to as ‘Trachys/Trachies’ for short. This part of its name comes from the Greek word ‘trachys’, which means rough, referring to the fibrous trunk. Together with the Greek word ‘karpos’, meaning fruit, and the species named to honour Scottish horticulturist Robert Fortune – and you have Trachycarpus fortunei.

This is a perfect palm to bring a classical tropical appearance to any UK garden with a hardy palm that can survive in a range of lighting conditions, and stays attractive all year round. They work well as individual specimens or in small groups, can frame an entrance or doorway, or even kept in a large container.

Trachycarpus fortunei - stripped trunk
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Full Shade
Tolerates the complete range of light levels, a very accommodating plant!
Eventual Height: 7-8m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

Trachies with stripped trunks work well as single specimens but when used in groups of three different heights, they lend an ultra-tropical feel.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Trachycarpus fortunei performs best in part shade, but it is still happy with full sun. Planted in full sun in the ground, Windmill palms will grow very fast, whilst in a pot in the shade they will grow more slowly. The most important consideration is to try and choose a location for it that is protected from winter winds.

Of all the arborescent (trunked) palms, T. fortunei has the best winter hardiness, with mature plants surviving down to -12C.

When happy, this palm grows 30 centimetres or more of trunk per season.

"Great service as usual and a bigger than expected palm in great condition. Thank you Palm Centre"

Cheetah Breaks

"Great service as usual and a bigger than expected palm in great condition. Thank you Palm Centre"

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