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PlantFiles: Dragonhead Palm, Yunnan Dwarf Palm, Fan Palm
Trachycarpus nanus

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Trachycarpus (trak-ee-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: nanus (NAN-us) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive longjonsilverz On Mar 29, 2012, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

I just planted a small Trachycarpus Nanus In October of 2011, (which was a little late to be planting a palm in Maryland but I was curious to see what would happen if I did) It was eaten by some kind of animal a few weeks later and I'm pretty sure it was a rabbit but I really don't know for sure what ate it. So there was really nothing left above ground and it was about to be winter so I figured it was dead. However, in the spring it had already began to push out of the ground and then it was eaten AGAIN and yet it still won't die! This palm keeps coming back!

UPDATE: Unfortunately the animals won this battle. Despite many recoveries, the constant rate of being eaten was too much for this palm, and it eventually was consumed all the way to its roots! I then replaced it with a new one, and it was also eaten down to the roots. I have given up trying this palm for now until I can find one large enough to be ignored by the animals.

Winter hardiness seems decent, but untested in a very cold winter since I have only been able to get one to survive long enough to make it to winter, and that winter was a mild one, only getting down to about 16F. It took major damage though, which could be just a fluke but it may indicate that this palm is not as cold hardy as Trachycarpus Fortunei (Windmill Palm)

Neutral SuburbanNinja80 On Dec 23, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Its a another sure it can do better than 27 degrees. Am still trying one... maybe when it gets to 7 gallons.

Positive NorCal95519 On Dec 29, 2009, NorCal95519 from Mckinleyville, CA wrote:

T. nanus growing fast and well in McKinleyville Ca.

Positive palmbob On Mar 29, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice, neat compact fan palm only 2' tall with little or no trunk. Supposed to be pretty cold hardy (zone 8 perhaps?) but not sure. Only a few specimens seen- rare in cultivation still, but recently becoming more available. Plant in photo was flowering last year, even though it looks like a seedling. From Asia

Now that I've been raising a few seedlings I can say that this is one very slow palm. Seedlings I got several years ago aren't significantly larger... but are still with me. Probably be ready to plant out in another 4-10 years...

Whoever added this plant set it up as a 6b plant! HA!!! It can barely survive 27F (mine was defoliated at 26, though it did recover). Not nearly as cold hardy as some hoped, obviously.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Mckinleyville, California
Reseda, California
Chicago, Illinois
Plainfield, Indiana
Centreville, Maryland
Fredericktown, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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