First report of Trachycarpus fortunei in Austria
Casual populations of Trachycarpus fortunei (Arecaceae - Chinese windmill palm) are recorded for the first time in Austria. During non-systematic field studies conducted over the last decade, seedlings of T. fortunei have been found at several sites in Austria (Vienna). In total, six records are reported where seedlings have been found in urban areas and close to railway tracks and some of the individuals survived one or several winters. All populations were found in habitats typical for urban environments and long-term persistence in these sites is unlikely as these areas being managed for horticulture purposes. In Switzerland, T. fortunei is considered an invasive species and has been shown to spread in thermophilic forests in Ticino. It is also reported as a casual alien in urban areas in France. When considering climate warming trends in Europe over the last two decades, it is likely that T. fortunei will become more frequent in Austria and there is the potential that natural habitats could become invaded.
Essl F (2019) First records of casual occurrences of Chinese windmill palm Trachycarpus fortunei (Hook.) H.Wendl. in Austria. BioInvasions Records 8, 471-744.