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Yunnan Dwarf Palm
The smallest member of the (Trachycarpus) genus, and one of the most sought-after, this diminutive, very adaptable and extremely cold hardy palm does not grow a trunk, or at least, only an underground or a shortly emergent one. From Yunnan, in western China, they are pretty palms, not unlike Chamaerops at first glance, and are often an attractive blueish colour. A further interesting feature is the fact that the inflorescences are held upright, an adaptation to keep them off the ground. Unfortunately this makes them very vulnerable to the goats, with which the area is over-run; consequently very few plants set seed. For the story of our rediscovery of this unique palm, after 100 years, see Principes April 1993 Vol.37, 64-72.
Tobias Spanner & Martin Gibbons