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Trachycarpus Nova ,previously known as  green princeps was oncesold as T.princeps first in Europe,but turned out to be something  different from the latter. What makes Nova uniqe is that  Nova, especially the narrow form shares a special feature of narrlowly and evenly split seedling leaves  like T.princeps,  as opposed to wide and irregularly seedling leaves of T.fortunei and other trachycarpus (probaly part T.oreophilus excluded) and plus it grows  very fast at unparalleled speed, over 20cm trunk within 2 years ,not seen in any other officially recognized trachycarpus except Winsan.So this good part of fast growth makes Nova recover much faster from cold winter spell its counterparts.

Since 2007, we have been traveling in the stone gate area and collecting seeds seeds from different sources in this topographically and climatically complicated area for the purpose of figuring out what Nova is. Based on four years of exploration in the habitat , actual experience with thousands of seedlings grown in the field and pot,together with exchanges with other growers, we can conclude for the first time ever that first of all there are 2 forms of Nova, the narrow form and the wide form and most importantly Nova the narrow form is existing in the wild as an undescribed new variety apart from in cultivation.

A long story about the discovery of Nova in the wild full of ups and downs.
In 2007, apart from collecting T.princeps from stone gate and first Nova seeds in the village, we obtained a handful of unknown seeds from palms of a local farmer living  at a soil mountain who said his father grew from T.princeps seeds which we doubted  1 year later and the palms also displayed apparently white powder to the underside of leaves. Therefore, we traveled to the stone gate area a second time again in 2008  to check the mother palms and found that the mother palms did have apparetnly white backs similar to those of T.princeps and plus the leaves are somewhat evenly cut to halfway which confused many people. These palms are different from other Nova  with which we previously saw in the village with no or little white powder like T.fortunei and moreoever, 1 day later  we found dozens of more similar types in the wild of the mountain ,nearby his house. Without any reliable infomation available for reference at that time, so we attentatively named them as T.princeps-cultivated due to the white backs ( NOT the second form of T.pricepes-cultivated  with different seedling found in late 2008 in a limestone rocky mountain, dozens of kilometers away )  as opposed to the nova we previously found in the vallage at  the bottom of the mountain. After 4 years of culticaton and observation, we come to find that the seedlings from the farmer's seeds in the mountain are quite like the other Nova we collected in the village with both putting out narrowly and evenly split leaves like T.princeps ,except that the first source from the mountain are inclined to producing somewhat more bluish colorations to the undersides  whereas the Nova we found in the village are not , like T.fortunei.

So it can be initially concluded that Nova,namely the narrow form is most likely a new undescribed variety  distributed in the wild, producing consistently even and narrow leaflets  with relative apparent white powder to the undersides of leaves.

More over,We collected Nova from a open area in late 2009 and assumed that they might be the same without  as the narrow form .But the initial results turned contrary to the previous presumption. This kind of Nova- wide form first producedb symetric leaflets ,followed by bit of wider ones but with a  faster growth rate than T.fortunei, but slower than the narrow form. In order to do a further study on this confusing and interesting variety,  In 2010,  we collected nova seeds from 7 sources and  partly gave out for free to some growers as to gather the growth performance and data .

Because of the possibe unreliable source of  wrong or mixed seeds which some growers obtained on tje market ,  so they ended up getting  inconsistent features of Nova over the past years and when they talk about Nova, some  of them normally get a vague or even wrong impression that Nova is only known for the fast growth rate with slender trunk and elongated peitoles which is why some people try to deny Nova as an undescribed new variety.But most importanly that Nova,especially the narrow form has evenly and narrowly split lealets with white backs , somewhat  like T.princeps which T.fortunei seedlings (wide and irregularly split) DO NOT share.


It takes us several years to travel and collect seeds from different souces in the stone gate area and figure out what Nova is since 2007. Now we can come to conclude that there are 2 forms of Nova, the narrow form and the wide form .


1. Nova -narrow form found in the wild

Nova -narrow form was first  found in the wild since 2008 ,but was then  taken as a different version of trachycarpus due to the confusing white powdery bakcs and relatively  evenly split leaves of the mother palms. They are aslo available in small quantities in cultivation which however do not show bluish backs as the ones we found in the mountain.

The following are the general consistent features for this type, regardless of growing conditions.

1)evenly and narrowly split leaflets  like T.princeps, which T.fortunei doesn't share
2)slender trunk and elongated peitoles like T.martianus
3) normally bending tips

4) deeply but relatively evenly cut leaves, UNLIKE T.fortunei

5) V-shaped fronds in seedlings

6) white powder to the undersides of leaves when getting older, not as apparetn as T.princeps, but more obvious than T.fortunei

7) very fast growth rate which NO officially recognized trachycarpus can match, it is unanimously proved also by some growers in the world.
This type of Nova were previously sold as  T.princeps  years ago ,but  they are growing pretty fast on slender trunks and elongated upright petioles with the elegance of T.martianus but normally with somewhat  bending tips and plus what is interesting , some of the Nova ,especially those from the wild could demonstrate apparent blue silver colorations to the undersides, much intenser than those of T.fortunei  which can be shown by the mother palms and juvenile palms in the wild.They were once called green princeps, the name which is actually quite suitable to define  their similar features of regular and narrow leaflets they share with princeps minus the white powder.The seedlings of this category are the closest ones in appearance in the stone gate resembling T.princeps so far and you could say Nova of this kind are stretched T.princeps if the white powder is not taken into account.


2.Nova -wide form, found in cultivation

This kind of Nova were also collected from the stone gate area in late 2009 by us .This stouter version of Nova some people talked about could fall into this type because the adult palms are not that stretched as the first kind of Nova in term of petioles and trunk, bit of like T.fortunei but leaves stand more upright with enormous long ligules along almost half of the trunk, forming furry threads like bristles of a male lion.
The initial growing results show that the seedlings first put out  evenly split leaves ,then followed by irregular leaflets which are wider than those of the first kind of Nova and also T.princeps,but narrower than those of T.fortunei. They may be seen a a transitional type between T.fortunei and T.princeps.Also as Nova, they also display unparalleled growth rate which T.fortunei can not match, plus with larger parts than those of T.fortunei. but the leaves are stiffer ,and seemingly more wind tolerant due to the wider and stiffer leaves.

All of the above findings are based on hundreds of seedlings grown in the ground and pot from seeds we collected by ourselves over 4 a year span of obsevations. It can be tentatively concluded that the narrow form of Nova tends to produce evenly and narrow split leaves whereas wide form of Nova appears to put out more wide and irregularly leaflets, though both are growing much faster than T.fortunei with only a little difference in growth rate between the two.

It is most likely that some growers obtained the seeds from different sources which could be mixed by the unsuspecting collectors,just like the supply of scare or none T.princeps seeds mixed with other seeds for export by some other suppliers till today .Therefore, they get mixed seedlings and no consistence of evenly and narrowly split leaves is observed whiles others do detect such special feature .That inconsistency as a result makes people sceptical of  Nova existing as an independent variety,though clearly quite different from T.fortunei.

Despite a key breakthrough in this field, there are still some more puzzles we need unravel like T.princeps-cultivated found in late 2009 and T.princeps-Sijitong source, W source and Other side of the angry river.

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