Arecaceae (palm family) Trachycarpus

Trachycarpus fortunei windmill palm

Trachycarpus fortunei, Roble Gym courtyard. John Rawlings, c. 2005

Leaves like fans, rather smaller than on other fan palms, with slender toothed stalks characterize the windmill palm. The scars of old leaves are enmeshed in a tangled mass of hair that decays with age to reveal a trunk that tapers downward. These are among the hardiest of palms.

Original specimens, circa 1890, can be seen in the inner and outer southeast circles of the Inner Quad.

Trachycarpus fortunei trunk details, Roble Gym courtyard. John Rawlings, c. 2005

Name derivation: Trachycarpus – From Gk trachys (rough) and karpos (fruit); fortunei – after Robert Fortune (1812–1880) who collected in China, and introduced the tea plant from China into India. Also see Fortunella.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings subsequently added the note on hardiness.