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San Diego Cycads

Cycads are slow growing plants considered to be living fossils and can grow for several hundreds of years.With unmatched durability in the plant kingdom, these ancient plants are virtually unchanged. They provide us a unique glimpse into the past.

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During the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, cycads were abundant and varied. Due to habitat destruction and other contributing factors, many cycads are now endangered and border on extinction. Who knows, cycads may yet hold some unknown link to our own mortality. So here at Twin Oaks Ranch, we are working to preserve the incredible legacy of the cycads.

There are some 289 species in 11 genera. Only 8 or 10 species, representing 5 genera, are common in horticulture. Since the 1980's, the popularity of cycads has grown at a remarkable rate. 

 

Below are some of our cycads. Call for current inventory / price.

CYCAS

Cycas Revoluta "Sago" 

Distribution: The Japanese Islands of Ryukyu 
Habitat: Wide-ranging, from temperate to tropical 
Description: A low growing Cycad that can reach up to 6’ in height with many decades of growth. Has very dark, glossy green leaves that are stiff and pointed. 
Conditions: full sun and well drained soil, frost and drought tolerant

 

Cycas Thoursaii 

Distribution: Madagascar, the Comores, the Seychelles, and the east coast of Africa 
Habitat: Open coastal forest 
Description: A large, fast growing Cycad, that can reach up to 30' tall, with attractive, shiny green leaves. 
Conditions: partial sun, moist well drained soil

DIOON

Dioon Mejiae 

Distribution: Honduras and Nicaragua 
Habitat: Dry rocky canyons 
Description: A small to medium-sized Cycad, with stem that can reach up to 20' in height. The leaves are dark green and flat in profile. 
Conditions: mature specimens tolerate full sun, less mature forms require partial shade. Both require well drained soil

 

 

 

 

 

Dioon Spinulosum 

Distribution: Mexico 
Habitat: limestone canyons 
Description: The largest of the American cycads, up to 45' in height and 30" in diameter, with stiff leaves and a flat cross-section. The female cone is the largest cone of any gymnosperm, (both living and extinct) and can be up to 40" long and contain 300 seeds. 
Conditions: mature specimens tolerate full sun, less mature forms require partial shade. Both require well drained soil


ENCEPHALARTOS

Encephalartos Ferox 

Distribution: southern Mozambique 
Habitat: growing in sand under the evergreen forest or in low undergrowth on sand dunes 
Description: holly green leaves are ornamental are up to 6' in length both the male and female cones are red-orange in color. 
Conditions: partial shade and well drained soil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encephalartos Gratus

Distribution: southeastern Malawi, northeastern Mozambique 
Habitat: deciduous forest, rocky slopes and gorges 
Description: medium-sized trunk with leaves up to 6' in length that are dark green and flat. 
Conditions: full sun and well drained soil

 

 

 

 

 

Encephalartos Horridus 

Distribution: Easter Cape Province, South Africa 
Habitat: rocky outcroppings 
Description: a small cycad, reaching less than 3' in height with very hard, sharply pointed, blue-grey leaves. 
Conditions: full sun and well drained soil

 

 


Encephalartos Lehmannii

Distribution: Easter Cape Province, South Africa 
Habitat: semi-arid sandstone slopes 
Description: a clumping, medium-sized cycad reaching less than 6' in height,with a blue tinge to the leaves. 
Conditions: full sun and well drained soil, frost tolerant

 

 


Encephalartos Whitelockii 

Distribution: western Uganda 
Habitat: forest along the Mpanga River 
Description: large spectacular cycad with trunks up to 15' in height and 3' in diameter, with glossy green leaves. 
Conditions: full sun and well drained soil