1. Cycads are seed plants characterized by a large crown of compound leaves and a stout trunk. They are evergreen, dioecious plants having large pinnately compound leaves.
2.They are frequently confused with and mistaken for palms or ferns, but are only distantly related to both, and instead belong to the division Cycadophyta.
3.Cycads are found across much of the subtropical and tropical parts of the world. They are found in South and Central America (where the greatest diversity occurs), Mexico, the Antilles, southeastern United States, Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and southern and tropical Africa, where at least 65 species occur.
4.Some are renowned for survival in harsh semidesert climates, and can grow in sand or even on rock. They are able to grow in full sun or shade, and some are salt tolerant.
5.Though they are a minor component of the plant kingdom today, during the Jurassic period they were extremely common.
They have very specialized pollinators and have been reported to fix nitrogen in association with a cyanobacterium living in the roots. These blue-green algae produce a neurotoxin called BMAA that is found in the seeds of cycads.
6.Care is easy: high light, water twice a month. Do not let roots sit in water.
Plantscape Designs Inc. designs with these ancient botanicals whenever our Boston, MA clients feel adventurous for a new look in their indoor office commercial work places.