Trachycarpus wagnerianus

Common Name: windmill palm  
Type: Palm or Cycad
Family: Arecaceae
Native Range: China, Japan
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of high winds and coastal environments. Fertilize during the growing season with palm specific fertilizer. The foliage is persistent and will form a "skirt" of dead leaves around the trunk if they are not removed. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-9. Plant in a protected location in climates at the colder end of its hardiness range.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Trachycarpus wagnerianus, commonly called windmill palm, waggie (waggy) palm, or miniature Chusan palm, is a slow-growing, small to medium sized palm known only in cultivation and is believed to have originated in Japan. Mature plants have straight, unbranched trunks reaching 20' tall topped with a 6.5' wide crown of evergreen foliage. The trunks are covered in a layer of brown, woolly, fibrous remnants of the leaf bases. The palmate leaves can reach 1.5' wide and are held on stiff, stout petioles, giving the crown a rounded shape. Dense, pendulous panicles of small, yellow flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and are followed by small, round, dark blue to black fruits. Synonymous with T. fortunei var. wagnerianus and T. fortunei 'Wagnerianus'.

Genus name comes from the Greek words trachys meaning rough and karpos meaning a fruit in reference to the fruit of some species.

The specific epithet wagnerianus honors Albert Wagner, German horticulturist who discovered this species in Japan.

The common name windmill palm refers to the overall shape and appearance of the foliage of this plant. The common name waggie palm is a shortened form of the specific epithet wagnerianus. The common name miniature Chusan palm refers to the size of this species compared to Trachycarpus fortunei, which was described based on specimens grown from seed collected from the Chusan archipelago (now called Zhoushan) off the east coast of China.


No major pest or disease problems of note.


Accent for tropical gardens, seaside gardens, lawns, and mixed borders.