Windmill Palm

Windmill palm

Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) in the Teaching Garden at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Plant City campus.

Now that winter's here, gardeners are thinking about what plants they'll need to cover when cold weather strikes. One plant that doesn't need protection is windmill palm.

Windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is one of the most cold-hardy palms available. It grows in places as far away as Canada and Scotland, but it's also a versatile and attractive choice for North and Central Florida gardens.

Sometimes called Chusan palm, windmill palm has evergreen fronds and a narrow, straight trunk that looks like it's been plastered with burlap.

The palm's compact shape makes it well suited for small yards or tight spaces like courtyards.

This Florida-Friendly plant will grow best in partial shade, but you can plant it in full sun if you irrigate it.