Trachycarpus fortunei

windmill palm

Outstanding Qualities

For a decidedly exotic appeal, plant windmill palm, Trachycarpus fortunei. This palm is the most widely available of dependably hardy temperate palms. Giant fan shaped leaves 3 to 4 feet across can't help but attract attention. The leaves sit atop a single trunk that is covered with the fibrous remains of old foliage.

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: Plant windmill palm singly as a dramatic focal point or in groups, it combines well with grasses like Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light', Stipa gigantea, Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea 'Variegata', and large leaved perennials such as likehostas, ligularias, gunnera, and rodgerias, for a decidedly tropical appearance. It also looks good when planted with other bold leaved shrubs like Fatsia japonica, Mahonia x media 'Charity' and Viburnum davidii.

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, gold, burgundy

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes

A very accommodating plant which will grow in full sun in most well draining soils and is drought tolerant. Plants survive transplanting well with relatively small root balls though the fibrous root systems are extremely difficult to cut through. Most plants are sold in containers from one gallon to 6 foot boxes.

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Quick Facts

Plant Type: tree

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant