CYCADS FOR SALE
Cycads make excellent potted plants, either for the house or conservatory. Their slow growth rate means they won't soon outgrow their pots. Some species, especially those coming from the cloud forests, prefer low light levels and perform well indoors. The desert plants are well suited to the brighter light of the conservatory or next to a south-facing window.
We grow all our own plants from seed, obtained from botanical gardens and rare plant seed houses around the world. We are a small cottage nursery and we can only ship within Canada.
Plants listed as hardy for temperate climates should not be planted outdoors until the caudex is at least baseball-size. This could take several years. In the meantime, enjoy your cycad in an attractive pot, let it summer outdoors, and then bring it in for the winter.
Some of the photos below represent mature plants, not necessarily the size we sell. When you inquire about a certain species we will email you a photo of the exact plant we have for sale before the transaction is consummated.
Prices reflect the rarity and age of the plant. All plants, even those listed as seedlings, are at least four years old unless otherwise noted. Large specimen plants come with an attractive copper plant label.
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Dioon edule -- So named because it was once used as a food source, this Mexican cycad has some beautiful leaf colours, from light green, to sage, to blue-gray, and is stunning even as a seedling. Although it can live to be 1,500 years old and eventually achieve a trunk height of three metres, this medium-sized cycad is very slow-growing, so it will not soon outgrow its pot. Suited to temperate climates, D. edule is able to withstand an occasional light frost (down to about minus 6 Celsius) and full sun once well established. It also makes a great indoor plant, either in the house or conservatory. $49 for a five-year-old plant, $69 for an eight-year-old plant.
Dioon spinulosum - This easy to care for and fast-growing cycad from Mexico has large, gracefully arching, gray-green leaves and fuzzy stems. The large seeds (the size of pigeon eggs) have been used historically as a food source by being ground into flour, and the resinous sap, called chicalitos, chewed as a gum (remember Chiclets). D. spinulosum is one of the most trouble-free cycads when given warm, humid conditions in partial shade or filtered sun. It can only take a few degrees of occasional frost (to -3 Celsius) but thrives indoors in the house or conservatory. $69 for a seven-year-old plant, $99 for a 10-year-old plant.
Macrozamia communis - A medium-sized cycad from Australia, this cycad promises to be a good species for the outdoors here on the West Coast of Canada as its native habitat has a climate similar to ours. It is hardy to -4 Celsius, so will need some protection during colder spells. It also makes a good container specimen and houseplant for many years before it achieves full size. Leaves are a verdant dark green with cream-coloured bases. M. communis displays an interesting cycad trait in having contractile roots that pull the stem into the soil, leaving only the full crown of leaves exposed. It prefers a sheltered location in full sun or partial shade. $69 for a five-year-old plant, $99 for 10-year-old.
Cycas sexseminifera - This charming and very rare plant is one of the smallest species in the Cycas genus and virtually unknown outside its native northern Vietnam, where it grows in the cracks of steep limestone cliffs with almost no soil. Preferring light shade, C. sexseminifera makes an excellent bonsai specimen. Leaves are a deep, glossy green, with emergent leaves densely covered in brown hairs. Bonsai, 10 years old, $275.
Zamia furfuracea (a.k.a. Zamia maritima) - The "fur" refers to a soft, reddish fuzz that covers the elliptical leaflets; the "maritima" to its coastal habitat. This exotic-looking cycad has proven to be a great houseplant, tolerant of dry indoor conditions and low light levels. Native to Mexico, where it grows in coastal sand dunes exposed to salt spray, it has a very rapid growth rate for a cycad, but will need lots of light and heat to reproduce these conditions in cultivation. Z. furfuracea is a popular landscape plant in California and Mediterranean countries, where it withstands several degrees of frost and full sun. 6-inch caudex with multiple offsets, $549
Zamia vazquezii - Growing in the deep shade of the cloud forests of Veracruz, Mexico, this small, delicate-looking cycad with a subterranean stem matures quickly and produces cones at an early age. Emerging leaves are pink to purple, mature leaves are a papery light green with an upright, bamboo-like growth habit eventually reaching one metre (three feet) in height. When grown outdoors it will tolerate mild frosts but will lose all its leaves, which will be replaced in spring. Kept evenly moist it grows well in containers in the house or conservatory. With their small size and adaptability to low light conditions they are one of the best cycads for indoor culture, preferring a very open potting mix. $49 for an 8-year-old plant.
Zamia integrifolia (a.k.a. Zamia floridana)
Zamia integrifolia - This small cycad with subterranean stems produces young leaves covered with short, rusty-brown hairs. Mature leaves are dark green and stiff, flat, with four to ten leaves in each crown. Native to Georgia, Florida, and as far south as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands, where it grows in a wide variety of habitats and soils. A very hardy and adaptable species suitable to warm temperate climates, they will survive in a sheltered location in colder regions but are probably best as a pot plant that is brought indoors over winter. This species is interesting as a bonsai specimen. The seeds of Z. integrifolia were formerly the source of Florida arrowroot and the original Arrowroot cookie! The wild population status is now threatened, due to overharvesting in the early 1900s. Six-year-old seedling, $49
This diminutive cycad sports a barrel-shaped trunk only 15 cm long and 8 cm wide. The small, delicate-looking leaves appear in clusters of three to 10 on each plant, only 20 cm long. In its native Mexico it grows in the shade of subtropical to warm temperate evergreen forests. Its small size makes Z. fischeri very suitable to container growing, and one of best zamias for indoor enjoyment. Often confused in the trade with Zamia Vazquezi, which is similar but larger, this dwarf species is very rare in cultivation. Six-year-old seedling, $69.
Lepidozamia peroffskyana - One of the only two species in the genus Lepidozamia, these splendid plants distinguish themselves from other larger cycads by their complete lack of spines or teeth (making them a little easier to be around). They are prized for their rapid growth and glossy, gracefully arching, flexible leaves. Easily adapting to a variety of light and soil conditions, large specimens can be produced in relatively few years. They are quite hardy and can withstand a few degrees of frost. Seven-year-old plants, $79. SALE: $49 each (minimum order, 2 plants)
Cycas debaoensis - One of the most rare and extraordinary cycads, C. debaoensis was discovered in 1996 in Debao county, Quangzi Province, China. Only one population has ever been found, and its status is critically endangered. The distinguishing features of this cycad are its multipinnate leaves forming graceful arching sprays that can reach 8 feet each. The caudex remains subterranean and will reach eight inches in width at maturity. $229 for 1.5-inch caudex, four-year-old plant.
CYCAD COMPANION PLANTS: (plant a Jurassic garden!)
Wollemia nobilis- SOLD OUT
Wollemia nobilis - Thought to be extinct and known previously only through fossil records, the "Wollemi Pine" was only recently discovered in 1994 growing in a remote rainforest gorge in the Wollemi National Park in Australia, and caused an international stir. One of the rarest of plants, this ancient conifer, along with the cycads, was the food of the dinosaurs. Related to the monkey puzzle tree and Norfolk Island pine, it is hardy to -12C outdoors. It also does well indoors as a potted specimen in well-lit situations. SOLD OUT
Antique botanical print of Cycas bellefonti, from L'Illustration Horticole (1868)