I like how the leaflets are all line up in a row on this Sago Palm. These are one of my favorite of the ornamental landscape plants in the Houston area.
The Cycas revoluta, commonly known as the Sago Palm is one of the oldest species of plants that exist. They appeared on the earth during the Paleozoic Era from 350 to 250 million years ago, before the flowering plants appeared. They were dominant plants in the Mesozoic Era and coexisted with dinosaurs. For this reason these plants are sometimes referred to as “living fossils”, and the Mesozoic Era is referred to as the “Age of Cycads”.
Today the oldest types of plants are becoming increasingly endangered in the wild. However, they continue to exist on this planet.
The Sago palm is actually a cycad not really a palm tree. This ancient plant is a member of the Cycadaceae family. Because of its palm-like appearance people call it a palm tree.
The magnificent plant has a rough trunk and a crown of large pinnate, fern-like leaves. Most plants reach four to six feet in height. Some species can reach up to 20 feet in height.
The unique characteristic of the Cycas is its reproductive structures. The Sago palm is dioecious; it is either a male or female. Male sago palms have a cone-shaped reproductive structure, and female sago palms have a globe-shaped structure.
The oldest survivors of our planet is extremely poisonous for humans and animals if digested. Sago palms can cause liver damage, especially if the nut portion is consumed. The palms are very attractive and palatable for pets, but they are deadly and can kill them within several hours of digestion. Please, keep these plants away from your pets and children.
The Cycas revoluta is easy to care for. It is hardy to 15 degrees and can withstand short freeze. It is a very slow growing plant but very long-lived. The Sago palm tree is one of the longest living plants in the natural habitat. Typical life span ranges between hundreds to thousands of years.
This ancient group of plants are great for decorating. Today they are very popular landscaping components in tropical and subtropical regions. The “living fossils” are used widely for landscaping design and in horticulture.