Cycas revoluta

Species:Cycas revoluta Thunb.
Common Name:Sago Palm
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Shrub
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Sago Palm is a non-native woody shrub or small tree in the Cycad family (Cycadaceae). It is native to southern Japan, but is widely cultivated. Sago Palms are frequently seen in cultivation in southern Alabama and occasionally persist from cultivation for short periods of time. Although called a “palm”, sago’s are not closely related to true palms. It is a gymnosperm-- a group of seed-producing plants that lack flowers and includes conifers, Ephedra, and Ginkgo. Sago Palm has a large woody trunk that can grow to 20 feet in height. The plants are very slow growing and most plants seen in cultivation are only a few feet tall. The trunk is very thick and shaggy with the old leaf bases. Leaves are produced near the top of the trunk. Leaves occur in whorls and are up to 3-7 feet in length. The leaves are shiny, think, and dark green in color. Leaves are pinnately dissected with numerous narrow leaflets. The leaflets have margins that are rolled downward (revolute). Young plants produce leaves intermittently, but older plants produce new leaves once a year in the spring. Sago Palms are dioecious (separate male and female plants). Male plants produce a large upright pollen cone (strobilus) and the females produce groups of megasporophylls (leaf-like structures with ovules) close to the trunk. These structures are produced in the early spring. Pollen is wind dispersed. The seed mature in late winter or early spring of the following year. Individual seed are approximately the size of a ping-pong ball and are bright orange in color. Cycads are popular ornamental plants and grow well in sunny locations with well-draining soil. Plants can survive temperatures in the upper teens, but damage to the leaves will occur. In very cold climates they can be grown in pots and brought indoors during the winter. Plants can be grown from seed or offsets called “pups” that develop near the base of the plant.--A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyCYCADACEAE - Cycad family
Genus Cycas
Species Cycas revoluta Thunb. - Sago Palm


Citation Cycas revoluta Thunberg, Verh. Holl. Maatsch. Weetensch. Haarlem 20(2): 424, 426–427. 1782.
Basionym: **
Type: JAPAN: Without data, Thunberg s.n. (lectotype: UPS). Lectotypified by C. J. Chen et al., in Vorster, Proc. Third Intl. Conf. Cycad Biol. 186. 1995.

** Not applicable or data not available.


No synonyms exist for this species.

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Baldwin, Coffee, Mobile

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: ALNHS, AMAL, TROY, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
AMAL00000431 Baldwin 10 Jun 2008 Spaulding, Daniel D.
Cycas revoluta Thunb.
UWAL0039193 Coffee 09 Nov 2018 Diamond, Alvin R.
Cycas revoluta Thunberg
TROY000047536 Coffee 09 Nov 2018 Diamond, Alvin R.
Cycas revoluta Thunberg
UWAL0049487 Coffee 09 Nov 2018 Diamond, Alvin R.
Cycas revoluta Thunberg
ALNHS00002059 Baldwin 13 Mar 2013 Barger, T. Wayne
Cycas revoluta Thunberg
AMAL00019593 Mobile 17 Jun 2012 Horne, Howard E.
Cycas revoluta Thunberg
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