(Cycad, Debao Fern Cycad, Multipinnate Cycad)
One glance at Debao fern cycad and you'll think it's a short-stemmed tree fern rather than a cycad, but don't be fooled. This rare cycad was recently discovered by botanists in 1996 in the Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces of China. It is a cone-bearing evergreen plant that grows in sunny, rocky openings among highland forests.
This cycad grows from an underground stem (caudex) with only a small portion extending above the soil. From the tip of the caudex emerges the highly ornate fronds. Each...
(King Sago, Sago Palm)
Sago palm is not a true palm but a cycad. This cone-bearing, clump-forming evergreen is a southern Japanese native and develops a tree-like appearance over time. Its long leaves are dark, glossy green and feathery in appearance but stiff and prickly to the touch. They are densely clustered and radiate from a central point at the top of the woody trunk-like stems.
Cycads are dioecious, meaning plants bear either male or female cone flowering structures. Male plants produce fuzzy, gold-brown...
Mark A. Miller
(Ceylon Sago, Cycad)
The Ceylon sago is a slow-growing cycad that reaches tree-like proportions. This evergreen plant is cone-bearing and closely related to conifers. It is native to the Spice Islands, much of Indonesia and New Guinea. In the wild and in cultivation it is often confused with the visually similar Cycas circinalis.
Ceylon sago has very long leaves (fronds) that are dark glossy green and feathery. They are densely clustered, ending in a leaflet pair at the tip, and lack teeth on the lower...
James H. Schutte
(Cycad, Queen Sago, Seemann's Sago)
Seemann's sago grows naturally near the coasts on southwestern Pacific islands, mimicking the look of short palm trees. Because of agriculture, this cycad is becoming less uncommon on islands such as Vanuatu, Tonga and Fiji. Its long leaves (fronds) are deep glossy green and feathery with individual narrow leaflets that are held out in a 180-degree plane. Fronds radiate from a central point at the top of a woody trunk-like stem. Newly emerging fronds are soft and flexible, and shed orange-tan fuzz...
James H. Schutte
(Cycad, Emperor Sago, Prince Sago)
Originally, this cycad species was considered to be Cycas taiwaniana, the Taiwan sago. It wasn't until 1994 with closer taxonomic investigation did botanists realize they were dealing with a separate species. It was native only to the mountains of southeastern Taiwan. This species' name comes from Taitung, the Taiwanese prefecture where it grows naturally.
The prince sago looks very much like the king sago (Cycas revoluta). The main visual differences are that emperor's sago...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Lipstick Palm, Sealing Wax Palm)
The brilliant red trunk and leaf stems of the lipstick palm make it a must-have for any lover of tropical plants. This heat loving, evergreen palm is native to the hot, lowland swamps of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is clump-forming and becomes huge in its native habitat but grows comparatively small in cultivation. Unlike many other palms it is absolutely intolerant of cold, so it is best grown in tropical (not subtropical) landscapes or warm, bright conservatories.
The feathery fronds...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Hurricane Palm, Princess Palm)
A healthy hurricane palm has a stately, slender gray trunk and a noble, elegant canopy of feathery fronds. This evergreen plant is native to the coastal forest of the Mascarene Islands, just to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is in danger of extinction there because of deforestation and over-harvest for eating as heart-of-palm.
The trunk is closely set with ring scars left from old leaf fronds. The trunk base often swells and flares out slightly. New fronds slowly unfurl from...
(Whiteshaft Hurricane Palm, Whiteshaft Princess Palm)
A healthy hurricane palm has a stately, slender gray trunk and a noble, elegant canopy of feathery fronds. Furfuraceum is among the most prized natural varieties for the garden because of its white crownshaft and blue-green leaves. This evergreen plant is native to the coastal forest of the Mascarene Islands, just to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is in danger of extinction there because of deforestation and over-harvest for eating as heart-of-palm.
The trunk is closely...
James H. Schutte
(Cycad, Gum Palm)
The genus Dioon contains up to 11 species of stiff-leaved cycads that naturally grow in dry, exposed habitats, although a few are found in moister, sunny forest locales. All species are endemic (naturally found only in one place) to Mexico, with one species also growing naturally in Nicaragua. Botanists sometimes segregate the species by size morphology, as some grow quite large with big leaves, stems and cones, while others mature markedly smaller in all aspects and don’t develop a large,...