Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cycad - the Mexican Horncone

A cycad today - from a genus we haven't featured thus far although my parents actually have one of these from my collection at their house somewhere - this is (labelled as) Ceratozamia mexicana, the Mexican horncone. I really like this species (which may or may not actually be C. robusta mexicana and not the species actually named as C. mexicana, cycad taxonomy and horticulture have an, erm, interesting relationship). It has very broad leaflets and robust looking palmish fronds. This together with it's lack of an above-ground trunk makes it a very wild-looking plant in a number of circumstances.

ceratozamia mexicana1

These are fairly tolerant of both sun and shade and the new leaves come through with a nice bronze coloration. I'm always keen to promote cycads for horticultural use as, due to their susceptibility to development compared to most plants, I see a real sustainable future for many species in small urban ornamental colonies which would not otherwise exist. I think this one has a real future if someone can produce seed in good numbers. Speaking of which.....

ceratozamia mexicana

Here's the horned cone that gives it it's common name.

This is the first of the photos from the motherlode of cycads I discovered at San Diego's zoo and wild animal park.


JJ said...

Cor - you weren't wrong when you told me about the cycads! I do like that one. Not as much as I like Encephalartos horridus but it would look very pretty in my garden nonetheless.

And I would love to see swathes of cycads in British municipal gardens.

garden girl said...

what a neat plant. I love the cone!

Anonymous said...

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