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CYCAD

Encephalartos spp.

Cycads grew on the earth in times when dinosaurs were here! It is pre-historic(fossils of 280 million years ago!!) naked seedplants(Angiospermae) with male and female on separate plants(diocide). The leaves grow in a rosette at the top of a cylindrical trunk which remind of palms and ferns.

Planning

Difficulty
Advanced
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Harvest seeds when they are well matured on the female.

Propagation

Seed
Naked seeds grow on female plants and need pollen from male plants to be fertile. Sow fresh seeds in sandy soil and keep warm and moist. Germination can take 1-3 months.
Suckers
Remove suckers when they have developed roots and plant in good draining soil. Keep moist until well settled. Do not remove them too soon-two years is a great time to be close to the motherplant!

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Naked seeds are pollinated by beetles.
Indoor plant
Allow good air circulation.
Drought resistant
Some grow in deserts and are xerophytic.
Pot plant
Make sure drainage is good and the pot huge!

Geography

Origin
Most of the old worlds - Americas, Africa and Australia as well as Asia.
Natural climate
Temperate Coastal

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Full Shade
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Edible
The Afrikaans name 'broodboom' came from the culture of eating the cycads: Give time for the toxins to break down by burying the trunk for 3 months, dig it up, knee like a bread and bake on fire!

Personality

Family
Cycadaceae, Stangeriaceae, and Zamiaceae
Flower colour
Cones are green, yellow, orange-red, grey or brown.
Scent
None

Problems

Scale Insects attack young growth. Prevent fungal diseases with flowers-of-sulphar on all wounds.
Red Scale
Red Scale
Aonidiella auranti

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