Trachycarpus

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Trachycarpus

 

a genus of plants of the family Palmae. The trunks, which measure as much as 20 m tall and 20 cm in diameter, are covered with a brown fiber and bear as many as 30 fronds at the top. The unisexual or bisexual flowers are in large branching axillary inflorescences reaching 1 m in length. The fruit is a blue drupe, with a waxy bloom.

There are eight species, distributed in Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. The windmill palm (T. fortunei, or T. excelsus), which is cultivated extensively in many subtropical lands, is native to the Himalayas. The fiber of the leaf sheaths is used in the production of mats, coarse fabrics, brushes, and other items. The split leaves are used in weaving. T. martianus, which is native to the Eastern Himalayas, is also often cultivated. In the USSR both species are grown on the Black Sea Shore of the Caucasus, in Baku, in Lenkoran’, and in some places in the republics of Middle Asia. The windmill palm tolerates snows and brief frosts to –14°C; it bears fruit and yields many volunteer plants.