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Common Name:

Windmill Palm

Scientific Name:

Trachycarpus fortunei

Family Name:

Palmae (Arecaceae)


Windmill Palm is a small to medium size tree palm with a very slender fibrous matted trunk and smallish fan-shaped dark green to blue-green leaves. Most effectively utilized in small groupings, Windmill Palm is very refined and offers good cold hardiness. Combines well with other palms and cycads.

Plant Habit or Use:

Small tree, medium tree, tropical, interiorscape


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Yellow-orange, small panicles in the crown, not ornamental

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Purple-black drupe in summer


20 ft to 25 ft, rarely 40 ft


6 ft to 8 ft crown

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Durable palm that benefits from a bit of shelter from high winds. Once established it is fairly drought tolerant and can handle some foliar and soil salts, pH adaptable. Not as heat tolerant as many other palms, actually needs a bit of chilly weather to perform its best.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.