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In the garden: Cycads

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JustJuice
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In the garden: Cycads

Unread postby JustJuice » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:17 pm

Hey

I found this picture on my computer from a while back and I forgot where I took it.

Can any one tell me the full common name and scientific name of this cycad?

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Thanks
JJ

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JenB
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JenB » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:45 pm

Nice question JJ! :D
I think it's an Encephalartos altensteinii. I don't know any common name, I just know it as an altensteinii and this one looks like a female plant. This is one of the taller growing species with stems up to 4 to 5m or occationally even higher.

They naturally acure in the coastal bush of the Eastern Cape. Like all cycads, they are extremely endangered but maybe just slightly less than some of the other species.
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JustJuice » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:52 pm

Thanks JenB,

What is that pineapple looking thing in the middle, are those seeds?
If so, can one take them and grow them?

Thanks
JJ

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JenB
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JenB » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:07 pm

Yes, that is the seed cone. :thumbs_up:
If they are pollinated, you can cultivate the seeds. It's a very long process but very rewarding in the end. Natural pollination is rare these days because you need the male and female plants quite close to one another for wind pollination to take place and because of poaching there are very few left to multiply naturally. If you can get your hands on some pollen, it's quite easy to pollinate by carefully removing one of the seeds at the top of the stem and injecting a mixture of distilled water and pollen into the cone when it's ripe(there is a little hole left where the seed was removed). After pollination, the seed will fit perfectly back in it's place and all you do is sit and wait for the seeds to drop.

That's just the start! :twisted:
The fleshy bits around the seeds have to be removed and then put them in water. The floating seeds can be tossed, they are not fertile. Repeat the water test again after 3 months and again after 6. By this time you'll be left with about one third of the seeds with which you started. Then you put them on sandy soil in a warm place, keep them damp and they will sprout a single root within the next year or so.
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JustJuice
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JustJuice » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:15 pm

Thank you for all the info! :D

Is there anyway to grow them from cuttings or something similar?

Sorry about all the questions but I think a new interest in cycads has just sparked in me! :D
JJ

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Micetta
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby Micetta » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:16 pm

:big_eyes: Jen!!! You are an expert even on things without feathers :wink:

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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JenB » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:36 pm

:naughty: Don't be so easily fooled, Micetta. :lol:

JustJuice, cycads is a wonderful interest to have! They are the last bit of true prehistorical plants on the planet.

You can also cultivate the suckers (little plants growing from the roots of the mother plant). Care must just be taken to treat the wounds on both plants with tree sealant because insects and rot are quick to attack the soft fleshy stems.

This is one in my garden, it's huge 'cause I've had it for about 35 years. This is also an altensteinii which is one of the faster growing species.
(Please excuse my makeshift fence, my dogs are demons if they get in there! :lol: )
Image
You see the second stem? That is a plant in it's own right which grew from the mother stem.

The seeds.
Image
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Micetta
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby Micetta » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:47 pm

JenB wrote:
This is one in my garden, it's huge 'cause I've had it for about 35 years.

You were born together :wink:

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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JenB » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:51 pm

:lol: I got it when I was verrry young! :twisted:
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JenB » Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:55 pm

Just a bit more about my makeshift fence. :wink:
These plants don't only have a main root system going down, they also have very delicate roots growing up to the surface which creates a "carpet" around the plant and has a coral-like appearance. They are called coralloid roots. Care must always be taken when digging around the plant not to damage those.
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JustJuice
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JustJuice » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:44 pm

Thank you so much,

I am guessing that I am not allowed to take seeds and suckers from wild cycads.

Thank you again,
JJ
JJ

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Micetta
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby Micetta » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:57 pm

JustJuice, remember to post a pic of your future Cycad :wink:

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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby JustJuice » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:05 pm

One more question :D

What is the difference between a cycad and a cycas?
JJ

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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby gmlsmit » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:24 pm

Cycads occur in temperate and tropical regions of both and southern hemisphere in Central America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

All belongingto the family CYCADACEAE.

Their ditribution is as per the Genus is :

Cycas: Japan, India, Thailand,Formosa, Philipines,, Okinawa, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Australia, The Comore Islands, Madagascar, East Coast of Africa and Mauritius.

Bowenia: Australia.

Lepidozomia : Australia.

Macrozamia : Australia.

Microcycas : Cuba.

Dioon : Mexico and Honduras.

Ceratozamia : Mexico and Guatamala.

Zamia : Florida, Mexico, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Puerto Rica, West Indies, Cayman Islands, Brazil,Bolivia, Chile, Venezuela and Peru.

Encephalartus : South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Zaire, Sudan, Nigeria, Swaziland and Angola.

The other similar family is :

Family : STANGERIACEAE.

Genus : Stangeria.

Distribution : South Africa.

The cycads have persisted to the present day but only as remnants of a great range of forms which 150 million yeras ago had an almost world-wide distribution.
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Re: What type of Cycad is this?

Unread postby yoda » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:55 am

Hi,

If memory serves me correct, Cycads produce their seeds/pollen etc in tight cones.
Whereas the reproductive arrangement of Cycas is more loosely held together. (Sorry, can't remember the technical term.)

Thanks
Yoda


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