A remarkable genus of hardy palm introduced by Robert Fortune in 1849, when he found them growing on the Island of Chusan (now Zhousham) just south of Shanghai.
Slow to grow I have one in my garden that was planted at 60 cm tall and now stands at a little over 2 metres ten years later.
It won the Award of Garden Merit in 2002 and is the best hardy palm for the UK.
While it is hardy in Britain we recommend planting it in sheltered positions to avoid wind damage to its deep green fan shaped leaves, which can be up to 1m across.
Its slender trunk becomes clothed in loose dark brown fibres and small yellow flowers borne in large panicles are produced in early summer once the plant attains about 2 metres of height.
Mature height: 3-7m
Mature spread: 1-3m