King Sago, Cycas revoluta

Cycas revoluta is a species of seed producing, cycad plant. The species may also be referred to as King sago, Sago cycad or the Japanese sago palm. The plant originated in southern Japan. It is used in the production of sago, a cooking starch or can be displayed as a decorative plant.

C. revoluta gets its name from the Latin word meaning “curled back”, referring to its leaves. Its leaves are shiny and dark green in coloration. The C. revoluta species have trunks that measures approximately 8 inches in diameter. The plant may grow over 20 feet high but may require up to 100 years to become full grown. Multiple heads of leaves are commonly seen branching from its single trunk.

C. revoluta is most often grown in warm temperatures and subtropical regions or green-housed in colder areas. The species flourishes in sandy, well-drained soil. The C. revoluta is one of the most commonly cultivated cycads. In many parts of the world this plant is featured in yard landscapes.

This particular species is particularly poisonous if ingested. Many parts of the C. revoluta are toxic, its seeds containing the highest levels of hazardous cycasin. When extracting starch from the plant’s pith to make sago the starch must be carefully washed and detoxified.

Image Caption: King Sago, (Cycas revoluta). Credit: DanielCD/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)