The most resent Trachycarpus discovery is surely the most interesting one yet. Re-named as Trachycarpus ukhrulensis from Trachycarpus sp. Manipur. It is possibly the same palm that Frank Kingdon Ward wrote about in his 1952 book Plant Hunter in Manipur. The palm was rediscovered along the Himalayan ranges of Burma in Manipur. Growing to the height of 50ft tall with a clean hairless trunk 12 inches in diameter. Producing 24-28 3 foot palmate leaves on 2 foot long thorny petioles. Each leaf having 68-71 segments. The underside of the leaf is a stunning powdery white and dark green above. Mature fruits ripen to orange/yellow.
In its native, limestone and sandstone steep and rocky hill country the palm tolerates extreme cold with frost during the winter. During the summer rainfall is heavy. The altitude at which it occurs is 4000-6000ft. Flowering starts in mid February, with the first ripe fruits in the last week of November. Seeds are far more readily available than those of the other white undersided leaf Trachycarpus species T. princeps, thus making this a very suitable candidate for cultivation. We have young trees growing here at Trebrown grown from the very first harvest of seeds to come out of Manipur. Last winter was one of the coldest we’ve experienced for years and the young plants came through it totally undamaged in any way. Although we don’t consider this palm to be quite as cold hardy as T. fortunei or T. takil but only time will tell.
Work in progress
Distribution Information currently being revised!
There is also known distribution in Nagaland, and almost certainly across the border in Myanmar.