Cycads | Cycadales

Cycads | Cycadales

Description
Description

Cycads, belonging to the order Cycadales, are ancient, palm-like plants that have existed since the time of the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. This ancient lineage makes them some of the oldest living seed plants. Cycads are characterized by a stout, woody trunk and a crown of large, hard, and often feathery leaves. They are dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female. Cycads thrive in tropical and subtropical environments across the globe, particularly in regions like South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Despite their tropical appearance, they are not closely related to palm trees. Cycads have a slow growth rate and can live for many years, sometimes over a century. They have been an important part of local ecosystems and have a historical significance in some cultures, but many species are now endangered due to habitat loss and over-collection.

Anatomy
Anatomy

Cycads are striking plants with a unique anatomy, resembling a cross between ferns and palms. They have a stout, often short, woody trunk which can be either underground or above ground. Growing out of the top of this trunk is a crown of large, stiff, and glossy leaves that radiate outwards like a fan. These leaves can be quite long and sometimes feather-like in appearance. Cycads reproduce using cones rather than flowers, with separate male and female plants. The female cones produce seeds, while the male cones release pollen.

Cycads have a slow growth rate but can live for a very long time, often over a hundred years. They are known for their resilience and can survive in various soil types, although they primarily thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. Their ancient lineage and distinctive appearance make them a fascinating relic from the past.

Cultural Impact
Cultural Impact

Cycads have a rich history of cultural significance and use by humans, dating back to ancient civilizations. In some traditional societies, they were an important food source, with seeds and stems processed to remove toxins and then consumed. Cycads have also been used medicinally in various cultures. In modern times, they are highly valued in horticulture and landscaping for their exotic and prehistoric appearance, often used as ornamental plants in gardens and public spaces. Their resilience and striking form make them a popular choice for adding a tropical or ancient ambiance.

However, their over-harvesting for ornamental use has led to many species becoming endangered. Cycads are sometimes referenced in literature and media as symbols of longevity and endurance, owing to their ancient lineage and ability to survive in harsh conditions. Their slow growth and long lifespan resonate with themes of persistence and the passage of time.

Common Questions
Common Questions
What makes cycads special?

Cycads are a group of ancient plants that have been around for millions of years. They are often called "living fossils" because they have remained largely unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Cycads are prized for their unique appearance and slow growth, making them popular ornamental plants. They are also popular in traditional medicine and have been used for a variety of purposes, including as a source of food and medicine.

How do you care for a cycad plant?

To care for a cycad plant, keep it in a sunny location and water it regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer every few months. Protect the plant from extreme temperatures and pests, and trim off any dead or damaged leaves. Cycads are slow-growing plants, so be patient and give them time to mature.

How are cycad seeds dispersed?

There are several ways that cycad seeds can be dispersed. One way is through wind dispersal, in which the seeds are carried by the wind and deposited in a new location. Another way is through animal dispersal, in which animals such as birds or mammals eat the seeds and then deposit them in a new location through their feces. Some cycads also have seeds that are dispersed by water, in which the seeds are carried by water and deposited in a new location when the water recedes.

Plants

* Under Development *

4.9’-6.6’ | 1.5-2 m
6.9’-12.8’ | 2.1-3.9 m (Diameter)
11.8”-31.5” | 30-80 cm (Trunk)
39”-79” | 100-200 cm (Leaf)
Burrawang
200.000
390.000
80.000
200.000
700
GUIDE
3D
Burrawang
5.9’-7.9’ | 1.8-2.4 m
4.3’-10.8’ | 1.3-3.3 m (Diameter)
5.9”-11.8” | 15-30 cm (Trunk)
27.5”-71” | 70-180 cm (Leaf)
Chestnut Dioon
240.000
330.000
30.000
180.000
9800
GUIDE
3D
Chestnut Dioon
6.6’-9.8’ | 2-3 m
3.8’-7.5’ | 1.15-2.3 m (Diameter)
9.8”-15.75” | 25-40 cm (Trunk)
27.5”-59” | 70-150 cm (Leaf)
Dukou Cycad
300.000
230.000
40.000
150.000
1700
GUIDE
3D
Dukou Cycad
13.1’-23’ | 4-7 m
10.8’-16’ | 3.3-4.9 m (Diameter)
13.8”-15.75” | 35-40 cm (Trunk)
6’-9’ | 183-274 cm (Leaf)
Eastern Cape Giant Cycad
700.000
490.000
40.000
274.000
500
GUIDE
3D
Eastern Cape Giant Cycad
9.8’-11.5’ | 3-3.5 m
7.9’-12.3’ | 2.4-3.75 m (Diameter)
9.8”-15.75” | 25-40 cm (Trunk)
39”-71” | 100-180 cm (Leaf)
Emperor Sago
350.000
375.000
40.000
180.000
1400
GUIDE
3D
Emperor Sago
19.7’-26.2’ | 6-8 m
9.8’-15.75’ | 3-4.8 m (Diameter)
19.7”-31.5” | 50-80 cm (Trunk)
59”-98” | 150-250 cm (Leaf)
Giant Burrawang
800.000
480.000
80.000
250.000
300
GUIDE
3D
Giant Burrawang
3.9’-11.8’ | 1.2-3.6 m
9.8’-15.6’ | 3-4.75 m (Diameter)
12”-16” | 30.5-41 cm (Trunk)
59”-83” | 150-210 cm (Leaf)
Giant Dioon
360.000
475.000
41.000
210.000
1700
GUIDE
3D
Giant Dioon
3.3’-6.6’ | 1-2 m
3.6’-11.5’ | 1.1-3.5 m (Diameter)
7.9”-11.8” | 20-30 cm (Trunk)
20”-59” | 50-150 cm (Leaf)
King Sago
200.000
350.000
30.000
150.000
73000
GUIDE
3D
King Sago
6.6’-39.4’ | 2-12 m
13.1’-18.4’ | 4-5.6 m (Diameter)
5.9”-23.6” | 15-60 cm (Trunk)
59”-95” | 150-240 cm (Leaf)
Nepal Cycas
1200.000
560.000
60.000
240.000
3200
GUIDE
3D
Nepal Cycas
9.8’-32.8’ | 3-10 m
6.2’-11.5’ | 1.9-3.5 m (Diameter)
11.8”-23.6” | 30-60 cm (Trunk)
24”-47” | 60-120 cm (Leaf)
Palm Corcho
1000.000
350.000
60.000
120.000
40
GUIDE
3D
Palm Corcho
13.1’-23’ | 4-7 m
9.8’-19’ | 3-5.8 m (Diameter)
24”-36” | 61-91 cm (Trunk)
4.9’-9.8’ | 150-300 cm (Leaf)
Pineapple Cycad
700.000
580.000
91.000
300.000
600
GUIDE
3D
Pineapple Cycad
5.9’-19.7’ | 1.8-6 m
11.8’-14.1’ | 3.6-4.3 m (Diameter)
15.75”-17.7” | 40-45 cm (Trunk)
71”-95” | 180-240 cm (Leaf)
Queen Sago
600.000
430.000
45.000
240.000
4200
GUIDE
3D
Queen Sago
3.6’-7.2’ | 1.1-2.2 m
3’-5.9’ | .9-1.8 m (Diameter)
5.9”-11.8” | 15-30 cm (Trunk)
39”-79” | 100-200 cm (Leaf)
Teosinte
220.000
180.000
30.000
200.000
500
GUIDE
3D
Teosinte
16.4’-19.7’ | 5-6 m
7.9’-15.75’ | 2.4-4.8 m (Diameter)
11.8”-35.4” | 30-90 cm (Trunk)
4.9’-9.8’ | 150-300 cm (Leaf)
Wood’s Cycad
600.000
480.000
90.000
300.000
1800
GUIDE
3D
Wood’s Cycad
1.6’-9.8’ | .5-3 m
5.25’-9.2’ | 1.6-2.8 m (Diameter)
9.8”-17.7” | 25-45 cm (Trunk)
47”-87” | 120-220 cm (Leaf)
Zamia Palm
300.000
280.000
45.000
220.000
350
GUIDE
3D
Zamia Palm
3.3’-5.9’ | 1-1.8 m
4.6’-9.5’ | 1.4-2.9 m (Diameter)
11.8”-13.8” | 30-35 cm (Trunk)
39”-79” | 100-200 cm (Leaf)
Zululand Cycad
180.000
290.000
35.000
200.000
1200
GUIDE
3D
Zululand Cycad
Chestnut Dioon (Dioon edule)
Scale illustration of an average Chestnut Dioon compared to other species of Cycads and a human

There are two subspecies of the Chestnut Dioon (Dioon edule) classified by location as one is found in a moister environment than the other. You can find it in oak woodlands or tropical deciduous forests. The last name “Dioon” means “two-egged.” The chestnut dioon is easy to grow and is drought and salt tolerant. This tree has a short, erect, and stocky trunk while the gray-green or blue-green leaves are sharp-tipped, lance-shaped and hairy, forming stiff, obliquely erect crowns. Like other cycads, it is palm-like and slow-growing with male and female trees producing cones. The seed cones resemble pineapple, are decorative, and can hold over 200 seeds.

Chestnut Dioons have an overall height between 5.9’-7.9’ (1.8-2.4 m) and diameter of 4.3’-10.8’ (1.3-3.3 m). The trunk of the Chestnut Dioon has a diameter of 5.9”-11.8” (15-30 cm) with leaf lengths between 27.5”-71” (70-180 cm).

Pair of dimensioned illustrations of the Chestnut Dioon seen from the top and elevation views
There are two subspecies of the Chestnut Dioon (Dioon edule) classified by location as one is found in a moister environment than the other. You can find it in oak woodlands or tropical deciduous forests. The last name “Dioon” means “two-egged.” The chestnut dioon is easy to grow.

Chestnut Dioons have an overall height between 5.9’-7.9’ (1.8-2.4 m) and diameter of 4.3’-10.8’ (1.3-3.3 m). The trunk of the Chestnut Dioon has a diameter of 5.9”-11.8” (15-30 cm) with leaf lengths between 27.5”-71” (70-180 cm).

Pair of dimensioned illustrations of the Chestnut Dioon seen from the top and elevation views
Chestnut Dioon (Dioon edule)
Height:
5.9’-7.9’ | 1.8-2.4 m
Width:
4.3’-10.8’ | 1.3-3.3 m (Diameter)
Length:
27.5”-71” | 70-180 cm (Leaf)
Depth:
5.9”-11.8” | 15-30 cm (Trunk)
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Dioon edule

Drawings include:

Chestnut Dioon front elevation, plan view

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Wood’s Cycad (Encephalartos woodii)
Comparison drawing of the Wood’s Cycad compared to similar Cycad species and a person

The Wood’s Cycad (Encephalartos woodii) is endemic to South Africa. The name is an honor to John Medley Wood, who discovered it in 1895. This plant is very rare and most often found in botanic gardens and institutions because it is extinct in the wild. This palm-like tree grows well in fertile well-drained soils. It has a thick trunk (especially at the bottom) and is unbranched. The glossy dark green leaves are long and broad. Although a dioecious plant, only a male cycad has been found which produces cylindrical yellow-orange cones.

Wood’s Cycads have an overall height between 16.4’-19.7’ (5-6 m) and diameter of 7.9’-15.75’ (2.4-4.8 m). The trunk of the Wood’s Cycad has a diameter of 11.8”-35.4” (30-90 cm) with leaf lengths between 4.9’-9.8’ (150-300 cm).

Scaled set of dimensioned drawings of the Wood’s Cycad in front and top views
The Wood’s Cycad (Encephalartos woodii) is endemic to South Africa. The name is an honor to John Medley Wood, who discovered it in 1895. This plant is very rare and most often found in botanic gardens and institutions because it is extinct in the wild. This palm-like tree grows well in fertile soil.

Wood’s Cycads have an overall height between 16.4’-19.7’ (5-6 m) and diameter of 7.9’-15.75’ (2.4-4.8 m). The trunk of the Wood’s Cycad has a diameter of 11.8”-35.4” (30-90 cm) with leaf lengths between 4.9’-9.8’ (150-300 cm).

Scaled set of dimensioned drawings of the Wood’s Cycad in front and top views
Wood’s Cycad (Encephalartos woodii)
Height:
16.4’-19.7’ | 5-6 m
Width:
7.9’-15.75’ | 2.4-4.8 m (Diameter)
Length:
4.9’-9.8’ | 150-300 cm (Leaf)
Depth:
11.8”-35.4” | 30-90 cm (Trunk)
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Encephalartos woodii

Drawings include:

Wood’s Cycad front elevation, plan view

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Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum)
Scale illustration of an average Giant Dioon compared to other species of Cycads and a human

The Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum) is found in lower elevations in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. It is also called gum palm and prefers regular watered well-drained soils on limestone cliffs and rocky hillsides. It is among the tallest cycads, palm-like, and evergreen. The blue-green pinnate fronds are perfectly arranged, radiating and arching out from the short stocky trunk with elegance. The giant dioon produces separate male and female cones. Besides, it is long-lived, cold-hardy, frost-hardy, easy to maintain, and grows in areas with less shade or sunshine. The last is ideal for a fast growth rate.

Giant Dioons have an overall height between 3.9’-11.8’ (1.2-3.6 m) and diameter of 9.8’-15.6’ (3-4.75 m). The trunk of the Giant Dioon has a diameter of 12”-16” (30.5-41 cm) with leaf lengths between 59”-83” (150-210 cm).

Pair of dimensioned illustrations of the Giant Dioon seen from the top and elevation views
The Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum) is found in lower elevations in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca. It is also called gum palm and prefers regular watered well-drained soils on limestone cliffs and rocky hillsides. It is among the tallest cycads, palm-like, and evergreen.

Giant Dioons have an overall height between 3.9’-11.8’ (1.2-3.6 m) and diameter of 9.8’-15.6’ (3-4.75 m). The trunk of the Giant Dioon has a diameter of 12”-16” (30.5-41 cm) with leaf lengths between 59”-83” (150-210 cm).

Pair of dimensioned illustrations of the Giant Dioon seen from the top and elevation views
Giant Dioon (Dioon spinulosum)
Height:
3.9’-11.8’ | 1.2-3.6 m
Width:
9.8’-15.6’ | 3-4.75 m (Diameter)
Length:
59”-83” | 150-210 cm (Leaf)
Depth:
12”-16” | 30.5-41 cm (Trunk)
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Dioon spinulosum

Drawings include:

Giant Dioon front elevation, plan view

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Zululand Cycad (Encephalartos ferox)
Comparison drawing of the Zululand Cycad compared to similar Cycad species and a person

The Zululand Cycad (Encephalartos ferox) is a commonly cultivated cycad native to the southeast coast of Africa, where its stem is used as food. This is in woodland grassland or forest margins where there is plenty of shade. It is small and has a subterranean trunk. The green leaves are long, hard-textured, and have spine-tipped lobes. This is among the fastest-growing cycads around and propagates by suckers or seeds. Both male and female trees produce cones that are red. Female cones are ovoid and attached to the base of the plant, while male cones are cylindrical and attached to the stem of the plant.

Zululand Cycads have an overall height between 3.3’-5.9’ (1-1.8 m) and diameter of 4.6’-9.5’ (1.4-2.9 m). The trunk of the Zululand Cycad has a diameter of 11.8”-13.8” (30-35 cm) with leaf lengths between 39”-79” (100-200 cm).

Scaled set of drawings of the Zululand Cycad in front and top views with height and width dimensions
The Zululand Cycad (Encephalartos ferox) is a commonly cultivated cycad native to the southeast coast of Africa, where its stem is used as food. This is in woodland grassland or forest margins where there is plenty of shade. It is small and has a subterranean trunk.

Zululand Cycads have an overall height between 3.3’-5.9’ (1-1.8 m) and diameter of 4.6’-9.5’ (1.4-2.9 m). The trunk of the Zululand Cycad has a diameter of 11.8”-13.8” (30-35 cm) with leaf lengths between 39”-79” (100-200 cm).

Scaled set of drawings of the Zululand Cycad in front and top views with height and width dimensions
Zululand Cycad (Encephalartos ferox)
Height:
3.3’-5.9’ | 1-1.8 m
Width:
4.6’-9.5’ | 1.4-2.9 m (Diameter)
Length:
39”-79” | 100-200 cm (Leaf)
Depth:
11.8”-13.8” | 30-35 cm (Trunk)
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Encephalartos ferox

Drawings include:

Zululand Cycad front elevation, plan view

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Eastern Cape Giant Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii)
Size comparison drawing of the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad compared to a person and other Cycad species

The Eastern Cape Giant Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii) is also known as breadtree, broodbroom, or ujobane. It is native to South Africa in various habitats where there is plenty of sunlight or light shade, such as open shrubs, evergreen forests, or steep rocky slopes. This tree is long-lived and easy to grow. Hence, an extremely common ornamental plant. The palm-like plant is tall and can be branched or unbranched while the green leaves are long, straight, or curved backward. The base is large but diminished towards the crown. This tree produces both male and female cones that are greenish yellow.

Eastern Cape Giant Cycads have an overall height between 13.1’-23’ (4-7 m) and diameter of 10.8’-16’ (3.3-4.9 m). The trunk of the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad has a diameter of 13.8”-15.75” (35-40 cm) with leaf lengths between 6’-9’ (183-274 cm).

Set of scaled dimensioned drawings of the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad viewed from the front and top
The Eastern Cape Giant Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii) is also known as breadtree, broodbroom, or ujobane. It is native to South Africa in various habitats where there is plenty of sunlight or light shade, such as open shrubs, evergreen forests, or steep rocky slopes.

Eastern Cape Giant Cycads have an overall height between 13.1’-23’ (4-7 m) and diameter of 10.8’-16’ (3.3-4.9 m). The trunk of the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad has a diameter of 13.8”-15.75” (35-40 cm) with leaf lengths between 6’-9’ (183-274 cm).

Set of scaled dimensioned drawings of the Eastern Cape Giant Cycad viewed from the front and top
Eastern Cape Giant Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii)
Height:
13.1’-23’ | 4-7 m
Width:
10.8’-16’ | 3.3-4.9 m (Diameter)
Length:
6’-9’ | 183-274 cm (Leaf)
Depth:
13.8”-15.75” | 35-40 cm (Trunk)
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Encephalartos altensteinii

Drawings include:

Eastern Cape Giant Cycad front elevation, plan view

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads