cycad identification

lenarufusJanuary 24, 2014

Can anyone help identify this plant? We've been here for 10 years & this is the first time it's got a cone. Living in the inner west, Sydney Australia

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sagolover(10a SoCal)

Looks like a Macrozamia to me. But I'm no expert, faaaar from that.

You can find experts here though. And there are several Aussies there too. :)

You can post in the specific forum for Cycads ID here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cycadfriends

This post was edited by SagoLover on Fri, Jan 24, 14 at 21:54

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 9:53PM
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That is a Lepidozamia peroffskyana. It could also be a hopei but they have wider leaflets, and from what I can tell on this small screen, they look too thin in the picture. Nice plant, they are fairly cold hardy here in central Florida, and don't even get leaf damage until it gets lower than 23 f. 17 f burnt the leaves but didn't burn the stems. Gets to be about 15 feet across and nothing on the plant is spiny or sharp.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:36PM
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I agree, it does look like Lepidozamia peroffskyana, with a female cone. They're native to SE Qld and NE NSW.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 8:38PM
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Great, thanks a lot - I googled the name and from the pictures online it definitely looks like Lepidozamia peroffskyana. I was surprised to see it develops a stem, this one must be at least 15 years old so does anyone know how long it might take to get a trunk? I've got a feeling I'll be long gone by then!
I've never fertilised it but it gets a lot of leaf mulch from the gum trees above. I read that it likes fertiliser so just gave it some native slow release & threw a bit of cow manure around, also sprayed it with pest oil as it has a bit of scale.
But as I have never pampered it I'd better not kill it with kindness.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 2:03AM
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I've got several Lepidozamia hopei but have been growing them from seed. So far almost 3 years old, but still a very long way from the 20 metre giants they grow to. At least you've got 15 years up already, but Lepidozamias are pretty slow anyway. My fastest cycad is a Cycas xipholepis (from Cape York), from no trunk to just over a metre of trunk in about 10 years.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:01AM
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If you dig down you may find that you already have a decent sized stem below ground. If you had taken care of this plant like a nursery would have done, you could already have about 8 inches of above ground stem. It takes that much stem to produce a cone, so it's probably already there. I bought a 25 year old plant from a man in Winter Haven several years ago and it had a stem 22 inches tall. Keep in mind that a 20 meter stem talks about 2500 to make in habitat.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Damn!! Tell me, how would a nursery take care of it? More fertiliser? I won't dig down in case I damage it.
Also - the typos in this-
Keep in mind that a 20 meter stem talks about 2500 to make in habitat.
make it hard to understand

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 3:50PM
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I think he means 2500 years to get to 20 metres. It wouldn't take that long, but certainly quite a few life times. That's L. hopei, L. peroffskyana doesn't get as tall. If you get up around Cairns way any time and want to see tall (20 metre) hopei, do the trail up behind the Flecker Botanic Gardens. But you have to keep a sharp eye, the crowns get lost in the canopy of the trees and are easily missed. You can also see them in the Daintree if you get up there.

DPM (Densified Poultry Manure) is good for them, it's aged and won't burn them like fresher manure.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:54PM
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The last time I heard, the oldest hopei I in the forest is about 1800 years old. I think it is about 50 ft. Larger ones we're documented, but died back about 30, years ago.
The first thing to speed up your growth would be to use a fast reacting high nitrogen fertilizer every 3 months. You would water it a few times a week. A combination of those two things would speed the growth up a lot.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:50PM
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