Trachycarpus on Parade

(page 3)

6. Trachycarpus priaceps. New species from Yunnan, China, described in Principes April 1995. Distinctive because of the waxywhite backs to the leaves (see photo below). Not in cultivation anywhere, some seeds were erroneously distributed under this name earlier this year. Sorry, if you think you have it, you don't. When it does get into cultivation, it will be a winner! See Principes 39 (2) 1995 and Chamaerops (18) 1995.

B. Those with oval-and-grooved seeds (like a coffee bean)

7. Trachycarpus martianas (includes T. khasianus). From Nepal, and Meghalaya State, India. Probably also northern Burma but outof-bounds to foreigners until the wretched and despicable administration there falls . Cultivated in only a few botanic gardens (Huntington and Sydney for example) in the world, but locally very common in the wild, though largely inaccessible. Distinctive features are the (usually) bare trunk, the seed shape, and the even splits in the leaf blade. lt has quite a different look from T. fortunei yet frequently one sees photographs of a bare trunked T. fortunei captioned as this species. Thousands of seeds distributed over the last couple of years. See Chamaerops (19) 1995 and Principes 38 (2) 1994.

8. Trachycarpus 'sikkimensis'. We have to keep those inverted commas for a little while yet as this new species has not yet been scientifically described (in press) . Cultivated commonly in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India, and also growing wild there, it is a splendid palm with big, leathery leaves and a bare trunk. lt is very hardy to cold, fast-growing and will be just fabulous as an ornamental once it is more widely available. Prolific seeder, many thousands of seeds and seedlings have now been distributed around the world.

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