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Trachycarpus princeps,namely officially recognized T.princeps from stone gate is by far the most beautiful hardy  trachycarpus thanks to the amazingly white powder to both sides of leaves and petioles, symmetric  leaflet configuration as well as stiff hair and  texture.

It is famous for the uniquely white undersides of leaves. However less attention is paid to the white powder presence on the upper leaf surface and petioles which make them look bluish.This is possibly because even some previously true princeps we see on the internet or the market are not really blue,but more bit of like a green palm with only white backs. and in some cases, even the undersides are just blue or gray, not so sharply white as compared to the T.princepes in the habitat .


On the contrary to the previous false presumption  that T.princeps from the stone gate is green , but the results from many growers around the world of this only officially recognized stone gate princeps show that it is not only blue to the  undersides of leaves, but instead even more promising than people thought,with even bluish coloration at top. Actually, Trachycarpus princeps from the stone gate is the only blue trachycarpus with white powder not only  to the leaf undersides and petioles ,but also to the upper leaf surfaces. This can be generally demonstrated by the blue silver  princeps grown in the ground and pot out of seeds which we collected from the stone gate and supplied to other customers.
Though a blue T.princeps with white powder at upperside could be far more interesting and preferable than a green one with only white underside which is not rare to see , it is still unknown what the main reasons are behind the variations between T.princeps . One of the possible explannations is that some princeps seeds are from mother palms hanging on the cliff while others are from the woods at the foot of the mountain.Likewise,  we see hotter, sunnier, and drier species like Bismarckia, Brahea armata, Chamerops cerifera, Brahea decumbens, etc display more blue powdery coloration than others. What is more, there are some other external factors seemingly  playing equally role in this leaf coloration such as water, soil and nutrition,etc.
When the princeps is older, it accumulates more white stuff at upper side and lower side.The photos at More Photos give us a vivid demonstration that the white powder is more apparent after the 5th or 6th leaves comes into being whereas the 4th and younger split leaves normally still stay green on the younger princeps.

What makes Trachycarpus princeps -stone gate unique as a common sense is that T. princeps germination could take up to 4 years and beyond probably due to the poor nutrition and special growing environment on the cliff, though some growers gave us feedback  that the stone gate princeps seeds we supplied over the years were somewhat easier and faster ,some even within 2 weeks. Based on our years of rich experience , we also find Trachycaprus princeps germiantion is quite sporadic ranging from months to years.Sometimes it is slow,but alwasy ends up to be a successful story even after several years which is what is great about this cute and rare species , making up for the slow and  difficult germination.

However, over the years, there have been many seeds which are not real circulating on the market and  frustrating many growers and so we devoted much time and effort to collecting trachycarpus princeps seeds from the stone gate and supplied REAL Trachycarpus princeps seeds and seedlings to growers from around the world since 2007. Based on our years of exploration in the habitat, we therefore obtained extensive knowledge and experience with this cute palm and also some other unknown trachycarpus varieties which sheds light on the mystery over trachycarpus in China which lacks a comprensivie and systematic study in this field. We post all of our experience with these new interesting stuff on EPS,IPS or elsewhere to expand people's horizon and knowledge and even shared several times for free the few seeds we collected with growers who are not blessed with such a chance of traveling, seeing and collecting them from the wild by themselves in their own country.

From 2007 till now, we have been collecting Trachycarpus nova seeds (formerly called green princeps )from different sources and found out that there are two forms of Nova available and most importantly Nova- the narrow form is existing in the wild as an undescribed new variety due to its consistent features of producing symetric leaflets  ,white powdery undersides of leaves similar to T.princepsand growing quite fast at unparalleled rate no officially recognized trachycarpus can match and plus we found a second wide form of Nova first producing symetric leaflets ,followed by bit of wider ones at faster growth rate than T.fortunei, but slower than the narrow form. In 2010,  nova seeds from 7 sources and locations were collected  by us and  partly given for free to some growers as to gather the growth performance and data to make a comprehensive study and estimate.

So when people order seeds of just one variety like  Nova  and  Tesan, EXCEPT T.princeps , they may get additional benefits of receiving different sources of the same variety without paying extra money, but we always label them by describing the name of sources where the seeds are from for the purpose of collecting them again next time in nature as there might be some variations between various sources as demonstrated by the two forms of Nova. 

 In late 2009, we detected a new population of unknow Trachycarpus (tentatively named as T.princeps-cultivated)  with white backs distributed in ANOTHER  limestone rocky mountain like stone gate,far away from the soil mountain  of Nova -narrow form. The seeds are quite similar to those of T.princeps in color and size, but seedlings are four ridgers with wide leaflets. To unravel the puzzle, the few seeds we collected were also given out to members from European Palm Society to help raise donation for it as before.  Like other growers, we are still keeping eyes on their development and trying to find their relationship with Trachycarpus princeps, nova and T.fortunei.

In 2010, we quite by luck collected trachycaprus princeps or princeps-like palms from three news sources, namely T.princeps -W source, other side and Sijitong source .

Regarding T.princeps-other side, we can take a look at the picture photographed in the morning, the left side including the high rocky mountain and woods is where stone gate princeps are distributed. In the woods couples of princeps are growing and many photos are taken in this accessible place .Up to the cliff are hundreds of T.princeps on the steep rock with quite little soil of around 10cm in thickness. This is also where M.Gibbons and T.Spanner found the famous T.princeps - the standard stone gate T.princeps.Many of the photos featuring the details were taken in the woods .

On the right side is also a steep mountain but with numerous other trees and bushes among which several Trachycarpus princeps can be spotted.The morning sun shines at the left sided mountain till the afternoon and maybe this relatively drier and sunny conditions make the left side with far less trees and soil on the rock except for a pack of fertile land,namly the woods at the mountain foot whereas at the shady right side with more rich soil growing several T.princeps more trees can be detected. Seeds of T.princeps-other side were collected 200-300 m away from this site
At the foot of the mountain on the right is a winding narrow path leading to Sijitong disappearing at the near right, 2-3 km away.

Base on the puzzles,right now we may have to take a review of the history of Trachycarpus princeps. The Sijitong source was once mentioned by Sergio an active and experienced grower with seasoned eyes and a unique insight into trachycaprus from EPS. The following notes is what he offered us which could be helpful to better understand this source.
"The princeps seeds that could be collected in the Sitjitong site should be theoretycally the same of that in the Stone Gate.The Austrian botanist Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti,who made some explorations in S.W. China between 1914 and 1918,has been the first European to observe directly the princeps in the Stone Gate.He published in 1936 a book in German titled "Symbolae Sinicae"(this title is in Latin)in which he writes:".....in the Salween Gorge above Chamutong until below Niualo,1725-1900 m.,...and from here replanted in the village of Sitjitong.....the leaves are wax white below....".The Salween River is the Nu Jiang River.This information has been very useful to M.Gibbons/T.Spanner to rediscover the species. "

T.princeps- W source seeds are similar to T.princeps (stone gate and other side of stone gate) seeds in size and color as well as Trachycarpus- ST (previously named T.princeps cultivated)found in late 2009. But the difference is T.princeps-W source and T.princeps (stone gate) has been verified to have 2 ridges whereas Trachycarpus- ST (previously named T.princeps cultivated) has four ,which in this respect is excactly like T.princeps -Sijitong source and other side source, however with both having bigger seeds than the above three.

All in all, they fall into 2 groups. 2 ridgers with 2 ridges on the strap leaves including T.princeps-stone gate, T.princeps -other side of stone gate and T.princeps -W; 4 ridgers with 4 ridges on strap leaves like Sijitong and other side and  Trachycarpus-ST.


These new seeds of the above varieties we collected over the years were  mostly given out for free to members to try and help EPS forum donation  or old customers and we hope the growers who are lucky to get them could give us some feedback about their growth performance as to make a more reasonable and sicentific estimate and classfication about them.


Fresh seeds and seedlings of Trachycarpus princeps 6-8cm trunk ,namely the standard officially acknowledged T.pirncpes from stone gate ca-hased on our online shop

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