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Cycas Taitungensis

DescriptionCycads World

A medium sized cycad with a trunk to 5 m tall and 45 cm diameter, occasionally branched.

Mature Leaves

Numerous, obliquely erect to widely spreading in a dense semi rounded crown, 1 - 1.8 m long, dark green, glossy, flat to shallowly vee-ed in cross-section, straight in profile.

Male Cones

45 - 55 x 6 - 10 cm, narrowly ovoid, stiffly erect, yellow, hairy.

Female Cones

Globose, hairy.

Seeds

3.5 - 5 x 2.5 - 3 cm, ellipsoid to oblong, the sarcotesta orange to red, powdery, hairy.

Distribution and Habitat

Endemic to Taiwan, where it is restricted to 2 localities in the county of Taitung in the south east of the island. This species grows in exposed sites on rocky ridges, ravines and steep rocky slopes in shallow, stony skeletal soils and gravels at 300 - 950 m altitude. The climate is warm to hot and humid for much of the year.

Notes

The species is reduced to rarity in Taiwan as the result of clearing and over collecting, and is protected in a 300 ha nature reserve north west of Taitung City. It can be immediately distinguished from Cycas revoluta by its longer leaves with flat leaflets.

Cultivation

Suited to tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. This species is reputedly cold-hardy, surviving down to temperatures as low as -9 C. An attractive fast growing species which has become extremely popular and is now widely cultivated. Flushes of new leaves can be an impressive and attractive feature. It is best planted in full sun, requires unimpeded drainage and responds to watering, mulching and fertilising.

Propagation

From seed and offsets.

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Cycad International | 61 Morris Road, Katherine, Northern Territory, 0850, Australia
Managing Directors : Josef & Karen Perner
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