Description from Flora of China
Chamaerops excelsa Thunberg in Murray, Syst. Veg., ed. 14, 984. 1784; Rhapis aspera W. H. Baxter; R. cordata W. H. Baxter; R. divaricata Gagnepain; R. flabelliformis L’Héritier; R. kwamwonzick Siebold ex Rodigas; R. major Blume; Trachycarpus excelsus (Thunberg) H. Wendland.
Stems clustered, rhizomatous, forming large, loose colonies, to 3 m tall, to 1.5 cm in diam., covered with persistent, fibrous leaf sheaths. Leaf sheaths with coarse, black fibers producing a square mesh; ligules not persistent; blades not split to base, divided into 2-13 segments, these with ± straight sides and jagged apices, to 40 × 7 cm, outermost narrowest. Inflorescences borne among leaves, branched to 2 or 3 orders; bracts tubular, sheathing; rachis to 26 cm; rachillae to 11 cm, glabrous; male flowers to 6 mm; sepals united into a tubular, 3-lobed calyx; petals united into a tubular corolla with a 3-lobed, valvate apex; stamens 6, borne in 2 series; filaments keeled adaxially; female flowers similar to but shorter than male. Fruits developing from 1 carpel, yellow, globose to ellipsoid, to 1 × 0.8 cm.
The stems are used for chopsticks and walking sticks. This species is widely planted as an ornamental and has been introduced in Japan.
Scattered localities in lowland forests or dry forests, on slopes; below 1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan [Thailand (?introduced), Vietnam].