Introduction to the Cycads

Legacy of the Mesozoic

Cycads are an ancient group of seed plants with a crown of large compound leaves and a stout trunk. They are a minor component of the flora in tropical and subtropical regions today, but during the Jurassic Period, they were a common sight in many parts of the world. For this reason, the Jurassic is often referred to as the "Age of Cycads".

Today only a handful of cycads still exist, and many are facing possible extinction in the wild (such as Microcycas in western Cuba). However, because of their large attractive leaves, many cycads have found a home in public and private gardens around the world. The above photograph shows a group of "Sago Palms", Cycas revoluta, growing outside the Hertz music building on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Though cycads are often known by this name, they are not closely related to the palms.

Click on the buttons below to find out more about the Cycads.

For more cycad information, visit: