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Chusan Palm Trachycarpus fortunei (Arecaceae) HEIGHT to 14m. Palm whose tall bole is covered with persistent fibrous leaf bases which hide the bole itself. LEAVES Palmate and up to 1m in diameter, split almost to the base; the segments are stiff and pointed, usually bluish-green on the underside and dark green above. The petioles are up to 50cm long and toothed on the margins, with the base hidden by dense brown fibres. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS The fragrant yellow flowers are borne on a long, branched spike, with males and females occurring on different trees. Before opening they are protected by enveloping white or brown bracts. There are 6 yellow segments in the flower, the inner 3 being the largest. Large numbers of 2cm-long, 3-lobed, purple-tinged fruits are produced in late summer. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION A native of China, introduced into Europe as an ornamental tree and common on roadsides and in parks and gardens. One of the hardiest palms, and will survive our climate, so it is also found in many coastal resorts in the milder parts of Britain and Ireland.