Cycas revoluta

23 Nov

Cycas revoluta (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Cycas revoluta (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 5m (after 200 years)

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Cycadaceae

Cycas revoluta is a slow growing, long lived, evergreen, palm like shrub. Its shiny dark green leaves are feather like in appearance, up to 90cm long and arranged in a rosettes. Its leaflets are opposite and up to 18cm long. Its trunk has an unkempt appearance and may achieve a diameter of up to 20cm. With age its trunk may branch. Its flowers are dioecious and both the male and female flowers appear at the centre of the leaf rosette. Its seed is initially yellow, becoming bright orange when mature.

Cycas revoluta, commonly known as Sago Cycad, King Sago Palm or Japanese Sago Palm, is native to southern Japan. All parts of this plant are poisonous, some pets will eat its seeds, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Cycas revoluta Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Cycas revoluta Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Cycas is derived from the Greek koikas, a name given to a palm by Theophrastus. Revoluta is derived from the Latin revolutum meaning ‘rolled back’.

The landscape architect may find Cycas revoluta useful as an interesting specimen plant. It requires hot summers to flourish. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Cycas revoluta Trunk (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Cycas revoluta Trunk (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Cycas revoluta flowers are pollinated by some insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Cycas revoluta their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Cycas revoluta prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Cycas revoluta requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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