Cycas revoluta: Sago palm

Family: Cycadaceae
Common name: Sago palm, King sago, Japanese sago palm

Sago palms look as good as art installations with their spiny, thick stems, and uniformly placed, arching leaves. The stems could be underground for small palms; growing above the ground as the plant grows older. It’s primarily used as ornamental plants, though the pith can be used to make sago or sabudhana through a very careful process that removes toxins from the starch. Height of the plant is usually 2-3 meters, though it can reach a height of 6-7 meters over a long period of about 50-100 years.

The plant cannot stand over-watering and might rot. It needs very little water and fertilization. Sago palm is extremely toxic, causing vomiting, diarrhea and even liver failure, if ingested. All parts of the plant are toxic, the seeds having very high concentration of toxins. It is not an indoor plant since it needs bright sunlight.

The leaves are very thin and pokey; so it’s better to keep the away from walkways.

Propagation is from seeds and from small plants that grow beside the parent plant.

Photo Courtesy: love4gardening.com

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