Trachycarpus: is it a male or a female?

juni 27th, 2017 · 2 Comments

Spring is the moment when this most populair palm species develops its inflorescence. Just below the leaves a typical yellow bud will appear. It’s not only beautiful to see and even a sign that the palm is doing well, it’s also the moment by excellence to determine whether it’s a male or female. The difference is easy to see. In this article we show them side by side.

Male vs. Female

Flower bud

Males do flower earlier in spring, the flower bud is much wider as well.

♂ - male

♀ - female


The male inflorescence is much more compact and woolly. When you hit it, the pollen (yellow powder) falls down. The female inflorescence is much more branched and the little flowers look like corn grains.


♂ - male



♀ - female


The seeds

Because often the flowers are being confused with the seeds here a picture of the real seeds. To obtain seeds, a successful fertilization of the flower must first have taken place.

© La Palmeraie

Photos: Waterboyke and

2 reacties »

  • Reactie door David Nicholls — 25 maart 2020 22:22 @ 22:22

    Great pictures & info.
    There are quite a few reports the young inflorescence is edible, I wonder if both male and female inflorescence are edible. With another palm (Chamaedorea tepejilote) only the male inflorescence is eaten. The book “Food Plants of China” is very authoritative and thorough and simply states “young inflorescence,seeds” of Trachycarpus fortunei eaten, I’m guessing the author would have mentioned if only the male or female are edible. Any thoughts on this?

  • Reactie door lapalmeraie — 27 maart 2020 10:56 @ 10:56

    Hi David!

    This is even the very first time I heard of this kind of use of the Trachycarpus inflorescence to be honest..! I totally agree with you that the author would have been more specific if this use could only be applied to one of them.

    Kind regards
    La Palmeraie

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