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Sego Palm
Cycadaceae
Cycas revoluta


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Shrub



Cycadaceae Family

Cycas Genus
Other Names for this Plant

king sago palm


Location

Found mainly on the seashore in S. Japan. Thickets on hillsides on islands, sparse forests on mainland at elevations of 100 - 500 meters in Fujian, China

Physical Description
Sago Palms have erect, sturdy trunks that are typically about one to two feet in diameter, sometimes wider and can grow into very old specimens with twenty feet of trunk. The leaves are a dark olive green and about three to four feet long when the plants are of a reproductive age. They can be longer if not grown in full sun. Trunks can branch multiple times, thus producing multiple heads of leaves. The trunks are rough and retain the old leaf bases of previous leaves. It is also the norm that plants will produce basal offsets or “suckers” at the base of the main trunk. Thus one gets a cluster of many plants and trunks with time. The petiole or stems of Cycas revoluta have small protective barbs or hooks that one must avoid during pruning. An older plant with a well-established trunk will have foliage overhead. Younger plants look like a rosette of leaves coming from a stem near the ground.

The plants produce special upward growing roots where nitrogen is produced in symbiosis with algae



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Cycadaceae
Cycas Family
Cycadales
Cycadales
Cycas Order
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Medicinal Uses: The leaves are used in the treatment of cancer and hepatoma. The terminal shoot is astringent and diuretic. The seed is emmenagogue, expectorant, and tonic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism. Substances extracted from the seeds are used to inhibit the growth of malignant tumors

Food Uses: Seed - raw or cooked. They can be dried and ground into a powder then mixed with brown rice and fermented into 'date miso' or 'sotetsu miso'. The heart or pith of the trunk is sliced and eaten baked or powdered. A toxic principal must first be removed. A starch can be extracted from this pith and is used for making dumplings. It is very sustaining

Cultivation: Growing of Cycas revoluta is not difficult if simple rules are followed. First, do give ample root depth by picking a pot or container that is deep. By this I mean preferably a pot 16 inches deep or more (a smaller container can be used when the plant is small). It is quicker and easier to grow Cycas revoluta in the ground as opposed to a container. In general, Sago Palms need sun to grow well. In coastal areas, it is best to plant them in full sun. In more interior locations or desert localities, they still prefer good sun or at least part day sun. Growing the Sago Palm in the shade typically gives one lanky, stretched-out leaves that are weak. If in too much shade, this species can actually just stall and do nothing (such as refusing to throw any new leaves).

The Sago Palm can be grown inside the house near a bright window. Like other cycads, they do not want to be over-watered. Let the soil dry out a bit before watering. Try to avoid overhead watering; this may cause rot and possibly total decay of the plant. The soil mix should be quick draining. The plants are quite cold hardy and can tolerate temperatures below 20° F. Overall, it is an available species that is quite versatile and easy to grow. It is usually free from pests but can occasionally get into problems with scale or mealybug, which should be treated. Fertilizing with a balanced tropical fertilizer with microelements will usually suffice. Sagos typically throw a new set of leaves during the Spring or Summer.

Propagation: Propagation of sago palms is either by seed or by removal of basal offsets. Offsets typically occur at ground level next to the main stem. Suckers also can actually occur above the ground on the trunk. Please read below for information on removal and propagation of suckers.

As with other cycads, the Sago Palm has either male or female cones (the reproductive part of a cycad). Male cones protrude and are shaped like a cone or torpedo, whereas females are "cabbage" shaped and are gold or tan-yellow in color. The female cone will slowly open up when receptive to pollen.

A female plant cannot produce viable, fertile seed unless it is pollinated. In the wild this can occur by wind dispersion of male pollen but it is believed that most of the pollination is done by native insects. However, it is quite common for an isolated female plant to produce unfertile seeds that appear to be "good". They will have the traditional red colored fruit but lack an inner embryo and will not germinate. Pollination of a receptive female cone can be done naturally by insects or artificially by man. After fertile seeds are collected, they usually need several months of storage before the inner embryo is ready to germinate. Therefore, it is best to clean the seeds of external fruit and set them aside before attempting to propagate the seeds.
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Due to Cyasin in the plant, esp. the seeds it is toxic. Clinical symptoms of ingestion will develop within 12 hours and may include vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, seizures, liver failure, or hepatotoxicity characterized by icterus, cirrhosis, and ascites. The pet may appear bruised, have nose bleeds (epistaxis), melena (blood in the stool), hematochezia (bloody straining), and hemarthrosis (blood in the joints).

Cycad Sago Palm is extremely poisonous to both humans and animals if ingested. Pets are at particular risk since they seem to find the plant very palatable



Sego Palm




Sego Palm


Comment: Sego Palm, Cycas revoluta

Page Posts: 1


Tak Yamashita

Long Beach, CA USA July 28, 2010
Enjoyed reading information on Sago Palms. When should one remove the reproductive cone from the plant?

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