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Cycas thouarsii

Cycas thouarsii Please click here to see a larger detailed image of this plant.

Cycas thouarsii grows to become one of the largest cycads and probably the fastest-growing. It can reach over 30 feet tall, with an 18 inches diameter trunk, producing offsets along its length. It generates up to 40 leaves at a time, each up to 10 feet long.

Cycas thouarsii grows in open coastal forests of Madagascar, the Comoros Islands and the Seychelles. It is also found on the East Coast of Africa, where the species may have been established by Arab traders because of its beauty and food value.

Cycas thouarsii may be the oldest living Cycad, at an estimated 140 million years. It grows best in a moist, well-drained location, with light shade. During dry periods, it benefits from mulches and ample watering, and can handle temperatures down to 27 F.

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Cycas thouarsii