palm tree

Palm tree crest marks shrine near Mount Fuji

Fujisan_shrine_crest2_shuro_Trachycarpus
私のパートナーがシュロの家紋を見つけました。富士山の神社の家です。

My spouse found this shuro family crest, which is displayed at a shrine near Mount Fuji. The shuro palm is native to Japan and grows wild in Tokyo. I’ve been delighted to find it in parking lots and formal gardens. This year we are planting seeds to see if we can grow it on the balcony.

Fujisan_shrine_crest_shuro_Trachycarpus

The Shuro palm is Tokyo’s most loved weed. You can find it in formal gardens and back streets.

shuro_backyard_palm_nakano
日本庭園から路地の庭まで、東京のどこにでも、自然に生えるシュロというヤシの木があります。手間がいらない木です。
From humble backyards to formal gardens, it seems Tokyo-ites cannot resist the self-sowing Shuro palm tree. This fan palm was used for making strong rope in Edo times, and its resilience and lovability makes it visible almost everywhere in Tokyo.

From every room in San Francisco apartment are views of outdoor palm trees from New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, and elsewhere

cllintonpark_palm_rhopalostylus_sidewalk_viewedfromlivingroom

サンフランシスコの家では、すべての部屋からヤシの木が見えます。東京に引っ越す前に、サンフランシスコのヤシの庭のサイトを作りました。

My San Francisco apartment is much more shady than the mid-rise Tokyo apartment that faces south with big views. With the expert advice of Flora Grubb‘s Jason Dewees, I planted cold-hardy palm trees that can be seen from every room. Almost everything came in small “5 gallon pots” (about 19 liters). There are palms in the sidewalk garden, in the light wells, and in the compact back yard. Before moving to Tokyo, I created a website showing off the plan and information about each palm species.

clintonpark_garden_viewfromkitchen

Native palm trees in Chichijima

Noyashi_Chichijima

小笠原に自生するヤシの種類は二つあります。ビロウヤシはうちわ形の葉があって、辺りの植物より背が高いです。ノヤシは羽のような葉と木の幹に金の輪があります。

Ogasawara has two native palm trees. Both have very simple common names in Japanese: biroyashi, which means fan palm or Chinese fan palm,  and noyashi, a feather palm that uses the “no” of Nakano, which means field or rustic. The noyashi has beautiful, almost golden leaf bases on its trunk.  Below, in a nature sanctuary on the east side of Chichijima, the biroyashi rise above the low scrub on steep cliffs.

Biro_yashi_Chichijima

Convenience store landscape lights up the evening with coconut palm tree

たくさんの外国人は、日本のデザインが上品でシンプルだと信じています。天皇陛下の別荘がある葉山という町で、コンビニの前にある大きい電気のヤシの木を見ました。

Everyone says how Hayama is where the Emperor has a summer home. No one mentions the Hayama Lawson’s giant, light-up coconut tree. Public landscapes reveal that design in Japan is often neither minimal nor elegant.

Palm trees in Tokyo, Seto Inland Sea & Yakushima

Palm trees in Tokyo, Jason Dewees

San Francisco palm expert Jason Dewees, of Flora Grubb Gardens, recently visited Tokyo, the Seto Inland Sea and Yakushima, and documented his horticultural findings on the International Palm Society’s travel forum. Together we created Palm Sundae several years ago in Northern California. Above is one of his photos.

Packed with photos, Jason’s post is an expert traveler’s guide to urban trees and plants with a palm focus, as well as Seto Inland Sea palms and exotic plants found on Yakushima, Japan’s wettest place whose high mountains feature ancient Cryptomeria trees (commonly called cedar in English and sugi in Japanese). In Tokyo, Jason identified two main types of palm trees: Trachycarpus fortunei, self-seeding in roadside plant beds, in small parks, as well as in the wooded areas of Meiji Jingu, and Tracheycarpus wagnerianus in residential gardens. Trachycarpus fortunei is known in Japanese as shuro (シュロ, 棕櫚), and has been used for many traditional crafts including paper making and brooms. Jason also discovered and photographed in Tokyo potted and in the ground Rhapis palms, both common and unusual.