Although it has the common name of Sago Palm, the Cycas is not a species of palm at all and is only palm-like in appearance. It is one of the most primitive plants, dating back many millions of years. It is thought to be the food plant of dinosaurs, and the toughness of the leaves might be one ' reason why the dinosaur became extinct! The Cycas is extremely slow-growing, putting out just one new leaf each year. Eventually it forms an attractive rosette of arching plumes. Because of its lack of vigour and slow root action and development, this plant is very susceptible to over¬watering, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. These should be removed with a sharp knife.

Plant type : Foliage plant with radiating plumes of semi-erect foliage
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 30-90cm (12—36in)
Flower : None as houseplant
Leaf : Tough leaflets, 5-15cm (2—6in) long, green, borne on stems 15-90cm (6-36in) long, forming feather-like appearance, radiating from central cone
Temperature : 15-2PC (60-70°F)
Aspect/Light : Brightly lit situation
Humidity : Moderate
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer; keep on dry side when dormant in autumn and winter
Feeding : Once a month with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Sow seeds at 21 -24”C (70-75°F) in seed and cutting compost in late spring to early summer; germination and growth very slow and uneven
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Mealy bug, scale insect, leaf yellowing with over-watering
Availability : Occasionally available throughout year
Uses indoors : Table-top next to bright window or in heated conservatory