Monday, February 20, 2006

Dinosaur salad....mmm tasty

The cycads are one of my favourite groups of plants. For some reason I have a fascination with pretty much any animal or plant group that evolved ages ago and remains extant in a relatively unchanged form (cycads, sharks, coelocanths, redwoods, gingkos, etc etc). The cycads were once one of the dominant groups of plants in the world but are now in decline in most areas. This is Encephalartos horridus from South Africa. As you can see its leaves have evolved into a beautiful glaucous blue form of what appears to be razor wire. Cycads are single-sex plants, each species has individual male and female plants (except the unfortunate Encephalartos woodii exists only as a single male specimen and his clones) and they bare cones. This is, I believe, a female E. horridus showing her cone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

didn't see an email contact for you - might i get in touch with you about running one of your images in a text book? hopefully (remove spaces around "at" symbol: adam_green @ )