Palm - Trachycarpus fortunei

Upper Botanical Garden

Small palm native to the mountains of southern China and Burma with fan-shaped leaves, 60-90 cm wide, composed of numerous segments welded together from the base to about halfway up the stem. The petioles without hooks are 40 to 90 cm long. The male flowers are yellow, the female ones greenish, the frutis consist of drupes (fleshy fruits with a woody interior) that are reniform and vary in colour from yellow to black. The infructescences are in bunches, each fruit is about 10-12 mm long. For many centuries it has been cultivated in both China and Japan to obtain textile fibres from which to produce ropes, sacks and very resistant clothing. It is the most resistant palm to low temperatures and is therefore used in areas where other palms would not grow, even in well-sheltered areas of Scotland and western Canada, while it is less apt to grow where the climate is too dry and hot. Adult plants also tolerate -15°C  temperatures well, even tolerating temperatures below -20°C for short periods.

Paolo Basetti