Tag Archives: Cycads

Pollinating a rare Cycad: First phase, collecting the pollen from the male

Male cone of Cycas multifrondis Canarius | Sunday July 22nd, 2018 |

A male cone is ready!

We grow different species of cycads as mother plants in order to obtain seeds for propagation. Here we show the mountain form of Cycas diannanensis. In february 2018, as our plants are about 8 years old, the first specimen achieved maturity and it is a male. Once the tall cone is fully exposed and developed it starts to shed yellow pollen.

Here in Tenerife, February is cool and wet. No females are ready, but one of the adjoining plants is now showing the tip of a female cone, which is much shorter and wider. It will be ready later, probably in mid-summer when the hot weather will make it grow faster.

So we collect the pollen from the male Cycas diannanensis ‘Mountain Form’ and store it for a later use. The pollen is put in a paper envelope and gently dried. It has to be refrigerated in order to last for months. Once the female cone will be ready we will try to inject the pollen inside to make the pollination happen. Our goal is to produce seeds and seedlings for our website www.canarius.com

Pollinating a rare cycad:

What is Cycas diannanensis ‘Mountain Form’ ?

rare male Cycad

Cold-hardy cycad from high elevation, with broad leaflets. Leaf margins are flat or undulate, not twisted on the rachis. It is a widespread species in China, distributed through central and eastern Yunnan, often found on steep slopes high on ridges, between about 600 and 1800 m. This species was described in the 1990′s. Leaves are bright green or deep green, highly glossy, 140-330 cm long. Cycas diannanensis is another frost hardy species.

This particular form of Cycas diannanensis was formerly named by Chinese botanists Cycas parvulus, known from the material collected around Mengdian village.


How to grow Cycads? Maurice Levin tell us:

Cycads-Canarius Canarius | Thursday May 19th, 2016 |

cycas-tanqingii-specimenCycads (division Cycadophyta) are unique plants from remote and primitive ages. They’re a species with similar forms to palms and ferns, despite not being related to each other. They’re also gymnosperms, in the Cycadales order, so do not produce flowers but do produce cones, such as pines and other conifers.

Cycads live in tropical and subtropical environments: humid rainforests, dry rainforests, cloud forests, pine-oak forests and shrubland. They’re often in danger and restricted to innaccessible or hard to reach areas. However, others grow in mountainous areas with cold temperatures, even tolerating frost and snow.

dioon-edule-specimenMost Cycad species grow well in the garden and they’re excellent potted plants. Some have become popular decorative plants, while others are very rare and are protected by law, such as CITES species (an international treaty against over-exploitation due to international trade).

Cycads are easy to grow because they do not require particular treatment. Watering frequency depends on the temperature and exposure of the plant: the soil of a plant that’s exposed to the sun will dry very quickly, so it should be watered more often. Although we must also be careful with waterlogging plantpots as it’s not a species that’s very tolerant of this.

Of course. Farmers should be very patient, since they’re slow-growing plants. As a revealing fact, we can highlight that Cycads can live for more than 2,000 years.

Maurice Levin, Cycad Expert

Below, we share a video in which planter and preservationist, Maurice Levin (founder of Jurassic Garden — A&A Cycads, a family-owned rare plant nursery in California), explains what Cycads are and their most optimum growing methods:

At Canarius our Cycads are plants grown from seeds, two or more years old, and grown in tall planters. All plants are grown legally.

We offer the largest selection of Cycads genus in Europe, with many new Chinese species resistant to cold. Visit the Cycad section on our blog and find out why our plants are of excellent quality.

Cycas tansachana seedlings grow a thick base

Canarius | Tuesday October 12th, 2010 |

Cycas tansachana is one of the largest cycads, native to limestone mountains in Thailand, about 100 Km North of Bangkok. It has a clean yellowish trunk and large leaves with long stiff leaflets. It can reach up to 7 m, with many branches and large base up to 1 m wide. It is attractive as a young plant because of the swollen base.  Cycas tansachana is suited to pot colture.

Thick stems in  young Cycas tansachana

Thick stems in young Cycas tansachana

This picture shows a picture of Cycas tansachana taken in March 2010. These are two year old plants, growing in the nursery for www.canarius.com. They are already showing an large, thick base.

You can buy plants of this species and many more in our Cycad Shop at Canarius.

Time Lapse Video of Cycas debaoensis, a bipinnate cycad from China.

Canarius | Wednesday September 8th, 2010 |

This video shows one of the most beautiful leaves of the world unfolding gracefully. A tiny shoot grows into a very complex leaf.

Cycas debaoensis is one of the many species of cycas from China that have bipinnate leaves. The cycad shop at www.canarius.com has the best selection in Europe of bipinnate cycads.

Some bipinnate cycads, with leaves similar to the ones shown above.

  • Cycas bifida
  • Cycas debaoensis
  • Cycas longipetiolula
  • Cycas multifrondis
  • Cycas multipinnata

Visit our shop and buy plants in pots, up to five years old.

The video clip of the Mexican Cycad Dioon merolae in Habitat

Canarius | Tuesday August 31st, 2010 |

This cycad is native to the hills of this region in Central America. This video was produced by the students at the University of Chiapas in Mexico, and publlished in March 2010.
A great report about the wild cycad Dioon merolae in habitat in Chiapas, Mexico:

  • Distribution maps
  • Landscapes of desert areas in Mexico
  • Young and adult plants in habitat
  • Cone and seed production
  • Religious use for the Catholic church

This video is in Spanish, with subtitles in English.

Come and visit the cycad shop at www.canarius.com. We offer this species and many more and we ship to anywhere in Europe.

The video clip of the Cycad Dioon Merolae in Habitat