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Cycads
 
Cycad
Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad Cycad
 

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Order: Cycadales; Families: Cycadaceae, Zamiaceae, Strangeriaceae

225 million years ago in the Jurassic Period when dinosaurs roamed the swamps of Pangaea, the era of cycads arrived. They were the first cone-bearing seed plants to appear, along with ginkgos and conifers. Called “cykos,” Greek for “palm-like,” cycads resembled palms with their frond-like pinnate leaves. Unlike palms, their trunks contained tissues of woody xylem found in trees.

There are about one hundred species of living cycads: Sego Palms, Pineapple Palms, Giant Dioons, are all called cycads though in different genera, differing from each other principally by leaf venation. Their stubby golden trunks are rough with the bases of broken-off fronds. Their fern-like leaves occur in a cluster at the top of the trunk, and the reproductive cone structures appear at the end of branch-like stalks. Some species have cones 3 feet long, weighing 90 pounds! Their roots have a symbiotic relationship with blue-algae, assimilating nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Cycads are dioecious: male cones containing pollen grow on one plant, female cones on the other. Like conifers, wind is their pollinating agent. Cycads appear in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Australia, Mexico and Africa; some are at home in wet forests, others thrive in semi-arid areas. They can make ornamental if slow growing houseplants.

Profile
Scientific Name Order: Cycadales
Family Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae, Zamiaceae.

Genera (at SFBG): Cycas, Bowenia, Zamia, Encephalartos, Macrozamia, Lepidozamia, Dioon
Plant Type Cycad
Environment Five basic items are needed for cycad growing success: well-drained soil, warmth, sufficent light, sufficient water, and fertilization
Bloom New leaf grow occurs seasonally. Male and Female cones usally takes place seasonally as well, but can alternate years with the new leaf growth
Uses Can be grown quite well in pots as the roots are exposed to higher temperatures. As with most plants, putting a cycad in the ground is the best way to achive healthy results, besides looking splendid, they give bay area yards a real tropical look. Be sure to have the five bases covered as mentioned above and you will have many years of Cycad enjoyment.
More Info All Cycads are endangered and are regulated by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)

Cycads are considered superior to palms by some as they are slower growing and therefore do not outgrow their landscape.

Sex reversal has been reported to occur in Cycads; it is very rare but usually occurs due to extreme trauma or stress

The Cycad Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education, research and conservation of cycads. They also produce a quarterly newsletter that is packed full of great stories and resources.
Location

Cycads can be found in the Ancient Plant Garden (Beds 68a, 68b, 68c) and the South Africa Garden (Beds 27 and 44).

Plant Sales at San Francisco Botanical Garden
 

IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Docents Joanne Taylor and Kathy McNeil
Profile Contributor: David Kruse-Pickler, Associate Curator

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

Magnolia dawsoniana

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

February

Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

March

Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

April

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

May

Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii

June

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

July

Cistus sp.

Cistus sp.

August

Rosmarinus sp.

Rosmarinus sp.

September

Dahlia spp.

Dahlia spp.

October

Salvia cacaliifolia

Salvia cacaliifolia

November

 
Magnolia campbellii

Magnolia campbellii

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

March

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

April

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica

May

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum

June

Sambucus racemosa

Sambucus racemosa

July

Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens

August

Asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

September

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

October

Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

November

Bidens sp.

Bidens sp.

December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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