A few days ago Christian Faulkner dropped by to see how our gardens were faring after Hurricane Irma. We were walking through my Caribbean Garden when he saw my Guihaia argyrata and asked if he could record it for his palm blog sometime in the future. I said of course and took my first close look at this palm for the first time in forever. It's been in the ground since before the Caribbean Garden was even a dream, so I can hardly call it an invader. This is one slow growing palm and, over the years, I wasn't sure it was going to make it. I got it early on as a palm acquisition. This species is hard to find and few people have even heard of them. It comes from southern China and northern Vietnam where it grows on limestone cliffs and is called the "Silver-backed Vietnamese Fan Palm" and "Chinese Needle Palm." Its resemblance to the American needle palm is uncanny. It supposedly clumps but mine hasn't yet. Trunks reach 3' tall, clumps up to 6' wide. Dark green leaves are deeply cut and backed with silver. It is a gorgeous little thing, but, unfortunately, dioecious so my little palm will not produce viable seeds. As it has never flowered I don't know its sex. It is remarkably cold hardy: zones 8b to 11. Too bad it is so incredibly slow growing. But if you stumble across one, scarf it up. You won't be sorry
I have been looking for pictures of the trachycarpus fortunei in its natural habitat, they are harder to find. But I found this web page ( http://fragranthill.com/101/two-great-new-plants-from-china-part-one/ ) and it has a few pictures of the palm and other trachycarpus species in their native habitat. Also, does anyone have any pictures of the Trachycarpus fortunei in its native habitat? Thank you for reading!