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Cycas petrea

Loei Cycad

This rare and robust, new cycad species from Thailand has only recently been scientifically described as a new species. It grows on Thailand's coldest mountains--the mountains in Loei in the north of Thailand--not far from the border to Laos. On winter nights the temperature here drops well below freezing, occasionally even with snowfall, so this species is well adapted to temperate and subtropical climates. Cycas petraea will grow a trunk about 2 m (7 ft) tall. The leaves are short and flat with 32-40 dark green, very glossy, and slightly waxy leaflets on either side and are carried on a fairly long petiole. The seeds are unusually large at 3.5 to 5 cm (2 in) long and 4 to 4.5 cm wide, making them among the biggest for cycads.

 
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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Over a 6 month period I was able to germinate approximately 20 Cycas Petraea seeds among other cycad seeds. After soaking the seeds in bottled water for 1-2 days, I placed them in a shallow circular preformed pond tub thats about 3' in diameter and about 7" deep. I filled it approximately 3/4 full with small pumice stones and placed the seed ontop of the pumice. I don't recall the exact amount of bottled water that I poured into the tub before covering the container with saran wrap. I then put the tub over a heat mat that I set the thermometer to approximately 80 degrees farenheit. I checked the tub periodically to make sure it did not dry out and in about 4 to 6 months all grew a long root. I tried this with method with other Dioon's and Cycas seeds and have had the same luck. Seems to work.
Submitted on 06/03/2010 by Paul H. Saldano

... are easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
I was amazed at the size of these seeds when I saw them for the first time, as they are huge, even for cycad seeds! I also find that size of the seed correlates positively with germination time i. e. seeds of this species took longer to germinate than smaller seeds of other species, and could take as long as 6 months to germinate, therefore patience is required. However the germination rate I received was 100% so if the right techniques are used, this does seem like quite an easy species to germinate. The key points are to use an extremely free draining material in which to sow the seeds, and to keep warm and damp but not wet. I use coarse grained perlite, which has spaces between the particles to allow air movement around the seed and lower the chance of rotting. I find vermiculite tends to stick together when damp and is not effective for cycad seeds, therefore I would advise against using vermiculite, and other composts. I bury half the seed gently in the perlite, but leave half exposed to the air. I generally expose the wider end (opposite to the end with a little bump), as this is where the root will emerge and following this method will ensure the root stays damper when it emerges. However burying the opposite way can also work is the root area is kept sufficiently damp. I place my seeds in a heated propagator kept at ~25-30c. I mist gently once or twice a week, to keep just damp but not wet. I open the vents on the propagator on a regular basis to allow good air circulation. Never throw away the seeds unless they can be seen to have visibly rotted, as these seeds may take longer even than 6 months to germinate. Instantly throw away any seeds that do rot. After a month or so, check the covered part of the seed to see if a root is emerging. Once this is spotted, instantly remove and repot into a very free draining gritty compost, such as that used to cultivate cacti and succulents, in a very deep pot to allow a lot of sufficient space for the root to grow downwards, prior to leaves emerging. This species is relatively slow growing but is one of the most beautiful from the day the very first blue-green leave emerges from the compost. A definite must for all lovers of this magnificent and ancient plant group.
Submitted on 17/01/2009 by James Barnet

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
The seeds began to germinate after 2-3 weeks, with no special care and are continuing to sprout nearly one year later. These plants make a very large taproot and should be started in a DEEP container, to allow the root to develop. The seedlings also showed no signs of frost damage after several frosts.
Submitted on 16/08/2008 by Mike Thiede

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Soaked 2-3 days in warm (80F / 25C) water changed daily, then to baggies with barely moist coconut fiber kept at 30C / 90F. Transplanted out when shoot 1 inch / 2.5cm long. Seeds came up one by one starting in 1 month; some are still good but have not sprouted in over 1 year. Don't throw away cycad seeds unless clearly rotten.
Submitted by Leo Martin leo1010@attglobal.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Let me begin by saying that the first thing I knew about palms was that I had two on my hands. I ordered this species because I thought it was absolutley beautiful and hardy for my New York area.I would also like to say that one of my seeds began germinating after 27 days.It was so easy and it certainly had nothing to do with my knowledge of palms and everything to do with the quality of seeds available at rarepalmseeds.com. I followed the simple instructions and I got immediate results. I've had even better results with two species of bananna seed I purchased.What worked for me was putting the seeds in a plastic baggie with moist rich soil and putting them in my aluminum shed, which reaches a temperature of about 90-105 degrees during the day. Its worked marvelously for me.I am quite confident that in the next few weeks I will have additional success with more of these seeds germinating.Its quite economical too. If I were able to find such a palm in my area I would expect to pay at least several hundred dollars for a small plant. Ten seeds were $32.00. There is no argument there, that is a bargain.I must admit I was quite sceptical to buy seeds for palms and have them come such a great distance with truely no real guarantees. Rarepalmseeds.com you have eased my concerns and you have a customer for life.Thanks for making me look like a palm pro in front of my friends and family.Best regards,Peter Christoforou
Submitted by Peter Christoforou pchrist@optonline.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
I have had a bit of troble with this species, but only because they needed more time for the embryo to develope totally.Soaked for some days, sowed on moist perlite in boxes with lid, they have taken some time to show any activity, but at the end I have got 90% .The remaining are still good.
Submitted by Angelo Porcelli angelopalm69@inwind.it

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

 
       
 
We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches


Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.


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