A relic of great splendor: The Cycas or sago plant

Appearing on earth 100 to 130 million years ago, the Cycas is the only genus currently known in the Cycadaceae family. It is represented by these plants, considered as relic for they have not evolved for 50 million years.

There are about eighty species in tropical or subtropical regions. Cycas are neither palms nor ferns. Among the seed-bearing plants, it is the most primitive. The Cycas are dioecious, meaning that it has distinct male and female individual organisms. For reproduction, therefore, the two specimens must be placed in each other’s vicinity, as pollination is naturally carried out by the wind.

To determine their age, it is necessary to check on the trunk the number of features left by the petioles of the leaves, as well as the time elapsed between the appearance of two successive crowns.

The Cycas Revoluta, or sago plant known to Mauritians, is often grown in pots. For professionals, this plant is often miniaturized in the shape of bonsai. From the stem of this plant, Orientals draw a sago flour to make bread. In Mauritius, the leaves of this popular plant are ornamental, and they are used to decorate locations during parties. In the gardens, where it grows slowly, its beauty is just unmatched…

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