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Transcribed by Maurice Levin, Jurassic Garden

Oldest Pot Plant 'In The World' Repotted
Transcribed by Maurice Levin, Jurassic Garden

Oldest Pot Plant 'In The World' Repotted<br>Transcribed by Maurice Levin, Jurassic Garden

Oldest Pot Plant 'In The World' Repotted

The oldest pot plant in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which is believed to be the oldest in the world, has been re-potted.

7:00AM BST 30 Jul 2009

The huge Jurassic cycad, Encephalartos altensteninii (i), was collected by Kew's first plant hunter Francis Masson, from the Eastern Cape region of South Africa in the early 1770s.

Masson was commissioned by president of the Royal Society Sir Joseph Banks to step aboard the Resolution and join Captain Cook's second voyage around the globe.

The ancient plant, known as the 'Eastern Cape giant cycad' arrived in Kew Gardens in 1775, and has been in the Palm House since it was built in 1848.

This cycad was one of the first living collections to arrive at Kew.

Growing at an average rate only 2.5cm a year, the trunk has slowly grown to its current 4 metres 40 centimetres. It is supported by metal stilts to ensure the health of thefragile, one-tonne plant. Now brimming from its pot, and in need of fresh compost, it is the first time Kew's gardeners will re-pot the plant.

The operation has taken three months to plan and Wes Shaw, Keeper of the Palm House, said beforehand: "Cycads are fascinating prehistoric plants, and this one is one of the most unique plants in Kew Gardens.

"It's the don of the Palm House, and has been slowly growing year by year since the Gardens began.

"As Kew celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, it's a fitting time to re-pot this gem, to ensure that it remains healthy for future generations to enjoy. It will be an exciting and nerve-racking moment, but I'm glad to have a strong team of Kew gardeners around me, and we'll be thrilled to see it safely re-housed."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5933242/Oldest-pot-plant-in-the-world-repotted.html




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WHAT IS CAUDEX SIZE?

You’ll notice we list and price cycads by their caudex size (diameter in inches). The caudex is a cycad’s woody, bulblike trunk. Caudex diameter is a good measure of a cycad's age. The chart below can give you a rough idea of how this translates to pot size.

Caudex Size
(Diameter)
Container Size
(Volume)
Up to 1 Inch 1-2 Gallon
1 Inch to 3 Inch 3-5 Gallon
3 Inches to 7 Inches 15 Gallon
7 Inches and Up 24 Inch Box


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Oldest Pot Plant 'In The World' Repotted
Transcribed by Maurice Levin, Jurassic Garden