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Cycas revoluta

 
Cycas revoluta

Common name sago palm
Family cycadaceae
Life cycle evergreen shrub/tree (Z9-10)
Flowers none
Size 3-10'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes well drained soil

Tropical cycad native to southern Japan. Its foliage (which is very prickly and gives me a rash, by the way) is very attractive, a nice deep green almost without blemish. the plants are slow-growing, producing new fronds just once a year. It's commonly grown outdoors here, with large specimens on display outside schools and businesses, so it's generally hardy. Sure enough, ordinary mild Houston winters don't bother the plant at all, and our specimen came through the first hard freeze to hit our Houston garden, in January 2018, although with significant damage. It wasn't so lucky in the second, more severe, hard freeze, a week-long event (winter storm Uri, February 2021). After the freeze, I cut back the fronds which had gone brown, expecting new growth to emerge from the center as it previously had – but nothing came. Not sure why - other, larger specimens around here have survived, while ours grew in a relatively sheltered location.

sago palm
In the aftermath of the Jan'18 freeze...
Cycas revoluta
...new growth pushing up in mid-March...
sago palm
...a week later. Invasion of the body snatchers!
Cycas revoluta
Late May 2021 – still no new growth, so safe to assume it's a goner

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: May 30, 2021
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