Herb: Chusan Palm

Latin name: Trachycarpus fortunei

Synonyms: Chamaerops excelsus, Chamaerops fortunei, Trachycarpus excelsus

Family: Palmae

Medicinal use of Chusan Palm:

The flowers and the seed are astringent and haemostatic. The root or the fruit is decocted as a contraceptive. The ashes from the silky hairs of the plant are haemostatic. Mixed with boiling water they are used in the treatment of haemopytsis, nose bleeds, haematemesis, blood in stools, metrorrhagia, gonorrhoea and other venereal diseases.

Description of the plant:


12 m
(39 feet)

August to


Habitat of the herb:

Montane oak forests to 2400 metres.

Edible parts of Chusan Palm:

Young flower buds - cooked. Used like bamboo shoots. The fresh flowers and terminal bud are also apparently consumed.

Other uses of the herb:

The fibres cloaking the trunk are used to make ropes and cloth. The fibres from within the leafstalk are used for making brushes, ropes, coarse cloth etc. A matting is made from the bark admixed with some of the stem fibres. The leaves are woven into hats, rough coats and fans.

Propagation of Chusan Palm:

Scarify or pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water then sow in a cold frame in mid to late winter. Bring into the greenhouse about 4 - 6 weeks later and the seed should germinate in about 4 - 8 weeks at 25C. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Pot up suckers in late spring and plant out in their permanent position 12 months later.

Cultivation of the herb:

Montane oak forests to 2400 metres.

Known hazards of Trachycarpus fortunei:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.