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Congrats! It's my understanding that it would help if you actually do some of the pollinating yourself. Bugs can be unpredictable. If I remember correctly it can be as many as 10-20 seeds from a plant. But don't take my word for it. Wait and see what someone else says.
Yes Geoff, but what you lack in 6 legged pollinators you probably more than make up in 2 legged pollinators :O)
If you remember from way back, that Cycas xipholepis I IDed. It's turned out to be a female and has been pollinated by what can only be C. armstrongii 2 years running now. Last years lot I have sprouted (well, radicals so far, no leaves yet) and this years lot are still ripening. But the down side of having the pollinators is that if I bring in any male Cycas species here then they'll contaminate the larger natural C. armstrongii population. So any I grow from seed will have to have the males culled out as soon as they become apparent. I like seeing the cones on them, but alas the outcome would be very irresponsible.
irresponsible perhaps if you plant them in the wild, but as cultivated plants, hybrid cycads can make awesome a and excellent ornamental specimens. Many cycad growers here love hybridizing these things, but there is little chance of any affecting a native population in this country.
Morganc, I'd be surprised if you got over 20 or so. They're not huge seeders like some other plants. The seeds are large, around 20mm diameter, and take a while to ripen. When they germinate they put down a thick root but take about a year to produce a leaf.
Geoff, most of our Cycas species are fairly restricted in their range. C. armstrongii occurs in a radius of about 30 to 40 kms around me. I have lots growing naturally on my place, as does the whole neighbourhood. We're basically out bush/in the wild. Smallest property size is around 9 to10 hectares, lots much larger, with many of them just natural bushland. That's why I feel a responsibility to not contaminate and hope others feel the same. It would take a while, but I wouldn't want to leave that legacy. My Zamias, Bowenias, Lepidozamias aren't a problem, they're a long way from 'home'.
my friend pollinates his Sagos by just dumping the pollen on the female when she is ready... he usually gets several hundred good seed per crop. Puts all seed on heated trays of moist cactus soil and gets about 90% success. Not too many nurseries here in So Cal would be interested in sago seed as they are so incredibly cheap and available nowadays.
It doesn't take long for the seeds to start to show up. It does take a long time for them to ripen. I usually leave them until they're ready to fall, ie just touch them lightly and they come away from the plant. If they do fall they don't go far (unless they're on a real slope).
Interesting thread - got me thinking. I inherited a HUGE female Sago when we moved to FL but it is the only Sago on the property except for the many pups I cut off from around the base which are rooting nicely. Those would be clones correct? In other words, they are all female?
Even though I am sure the answer is obvious, I am new to Cycads so going to ask.
My Sago finally just put up a male cone this spring. This is my first Sago to declare a gender :-) I do have a question. Do I just leave the cone on the plant until it comes loose or falls off? And how often will this plant put up a cone? Obviously these pics loaded out of order...