Cycas spp


Family: Sago Palms belong to the Cycadaceae or Cycad family; are not palms but cycads, an ancient group of slow growing seed plants with stout trunks and a crown of large, compound leaves; are dioecious, having separate male and female plants; females produce ovules and seed, and males produce cones with pollen; genus includes the larger, regal Queen Sago Palm (Cycas circinalis) and the smaller, more common King Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta).

Description: Sago Palms are very attractive trees, topped by a terminal crown of gracefully spreading, long, dark green, pinnate semi-glossy leaves; leaflets (pinnae) with prominent midrib without lateral veins; tomentum - the hairy leaf covering - sheds as leaf expands; male Sagos develop one or more elongated scale-like cones, coming from center of top of plant; female Sagos develop toothed, rounded, white or yellow cones, pollinated by insects or wind, and producing many flattened seeds; as cone matures, seed-bearing leaves separate displaying brightly colored seeds, often red, purple, or yellow; seeds have spongy layer allowing them to float on water. The much larger Queen Sago Palm usually consists of a single stout trunk up to 6 m tall (20 ft), 30-60 cm in diameter (1-2 ft); some branching may occur in older plants, producing handsome trees with multiple crowns; leaves 1.5-2.5 m long (5-8 ft), with 40 to 85 pairs of narrowly lanceolate leaflets with flat margins; male cones cylindrical, up to 70 cm tall (27 in); seeds yellow to brown, up to 5.5 cm long (2 in). The more common King Sago Palm is a smaller, “dwarf” species, growing up to 3.5 m (11 ft), developing many branches from the main trunk and from sprouts at ground level; has compact green leaves, 0.75-1.5 m long (2.5-5 ft); leaflets about 60 pairs, linear, 10 - 20 cm long (4-8 in), with thickened margins rolled under the leaf; male cones cylindrical, up to 50 cm tall (20 in); seeds red or orange, up to 4 cm long (1.5 in)

Natural Habitat: Queen Sago, typically occurs in fairly dense, seasonally dry, scrubby woodland in hilly areas of tropical Asia and Africa; King Sago found mainly on the sea shore in southern Japan; both species propagated by suckers or seed; seeds take from 6–18 months to germinat.

Origin and Distribution: Queen Sago native to tropical Africa and Asia, King Sago to southern Japan; today, only a handful of cycad species still exist, and many face extinction in wild, such as the Microcycas in western Cuba; but because of their large attractive leaves, cycads have found a home in public and private gardens around the world.

Government of SVG



Contact the gardens

Telephone: (1 784) 4935824