Friday, June 4, 2010

Cold Hardy Palm: Trachycarpus wagnerianus (Dwarf Windmill Palm)

Although similar to Trachycarpus fortunei, Trachycarpus wagnerianus is much more elegant with smaller leaves which are held upright.  This makes it more resistant to both the wind and cold.  In many ways this palm has a superior form to fortunei and will likely end up replacing it.  The source of the picture below is the Palm House in the UK.

From the picture above you can clearly see the upright form with smaller leaves.  Another thing that makes wagnerianus interesting is the distance between leaves.  They are far more spread out than a typical Trachycarpus and the lower leaves remain on the trunk much longer.

Although I have seen it rated for zone 8a and above, there are many people that have had success in far lower zones.  There was mention by one person in zone 6a of a wagnerianus surviving two winters with no leaf damage!  They were planted along both the south and east sides of the house.  Absolute minimum temperatures are said to be around -12C (10F).  From what I've seen it seems like it can withstand far lower.

This palm will grow to an adult height of between 3m and 6m (10ft - 20ft).  It will grow well in a moist climate and tolerates salt spray.  It is also suitable for dryer climates or areas with seasonal rainfall and a great choice for xeriscaping.  It will grow in a wide range of soils, but it may be necessary to add some peat moss if the area is too alkaline.  It seems to grow best in a well draining medium.

There is a lot of good information with regards to growing experiences here.  It's a great resource so take a look.

Now for some great news!  No I didn't find a job... but I did order Trachycarpus wagnerianus, Chamaerops humilis var. cerifera and Jubaea chilensis seeds!  I'm super pumped!

3 comments:

  1. Good luck with the seeds!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have fun with the seeds! Good luck on the job hunt!

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  3. I really hope they do well. I would love to grow large palms from seed.

    ReplyDelete

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