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huge, huge cone from a mystery tree

Sherman Oaks, CA

This cone was found in Chatsworth (northwest Los Angeles). Can anyone identify the species of tree it came from?

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San Francisco, CA

Probably a cone from a cycad, not a tree

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes - we have them in all the roadside yard litter piles, where people remove them.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

That is not a cycad cone... looks like a cone from an Araucaria (probably bidwillii or a mature heterophylla).. .but Bunya Bunya tree would be my first guess.

San Francisco, CA

PalmBob, I can't say that I've ever seen A. bidwillii cones (female, right?), but are you really sure it could not be a cycad? FWIW, Does not look anything like the A. heterophylla cones we have here.

Sherman Oaks, CA

I think A. bidwillii cones are green. This one is a fleshy tan color.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Araucaria cones fade in color after they fall off. Absolutely sure it's not a cycad cone.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

As I walked my dogs last evening, I stopped and looked at the cones laying along the road - they are very long - not squatty like the one pictured.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

I believe it is the Araucaria araucana….Monkey Puzzle tree….A friend was looking for one some time back. :-)))

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Here is an image search from google.com - sure does look like tlm1 is right.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

Araucaria araucana cones fall apart on the tree but don't fall off as one piece. I've collected tons of seed.

2006 harvest.

Thumbnail by growin Thumbnail by growin
San Francisco, CA

Its way too big for A. araucana too; its also not like any A. heterophylla I've seen - also way too big, and the scales are too small and densely packed. I just went and looked at some Araucarias, and their cones don't look anything like the image.

I go back to a cycad; perhaps a Dioon, maybe an immature male cone of an Encephalartos.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

No cycads around Sherman Oaks.. and no Araucaria araucanas in this climate... but lots of Araucaria bidwilliis ... again NOT cycad cones.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

It does look like this cone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/glennf/20342176

San Francisco, CA

OK, could be a Cycas sp. too I suppose.

Palmbob, why do you say there are no cycads around Sheman Oaks?

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Not a cycas cone... wrong shape. I say that it is not a cycad cone for two reasons... one, it doesn't' look like one.. two, for a cycad to make a cone that size, it would have to be a mature and extremely costly plant, and there is no way cones would just end up on the street like that. The owners of expensive plants like that would rarely remove them from the plant (unless they were spent) as they (cones) are considered an ornamental part of the plant, and therefore treasured. I have never in my entire life seen a cycad cone discarded along the street, or even in a trash can. Perhaps in South Africa one might find some Encephalartos cones lying about along with other green waste, but not here in California.

Plus, that looks a LOT like an Araucaria bidwillii cone.

San Francisco, CA

I will concede that I have not seen many A. bidwillii cones; it could be that.

I have seen cycads here and all over the world. It most certainly could be a cycad cone.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

I have seen thousands of cycad cones my self.. .never seen one look like that. Most cycad cones I see are on the plants. I have articles in davesgarden about cycads and lots of photos of their cones... plus there are just about every species of cycad in existence there- many photographed extensively on Davesgarden, and many with their cones... see if you can find one that is a match.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

The cycad link I posted above shows a cone that is almost identical. http://www.flickr.com/photos/glennf/20342176

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Definitely not a Bunya Araucaria bidwillii cone! They have fewer, larger scales, and are green / brown, never pale grey.

Resin

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Hmmm... am I going to lose this argument.. .photo does not show a grey cone, by the way (my monitor shows it as pale yellow).

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

palmbob, I think you may!!! That Flickr pic that growin posted sure looks like a match!! (IF, the photographer knew what he/she was shooting...)

Doug

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

That pic on Flickr was taken in 2005 at the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

After doing some searching I'm leaning towards Encephalartos.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

No disrespect, palmbob. And I don't think it's an argument. I just happened across that image on a google search as I wasn't convinced either way, nor am I that familiar with Cycads or Araucaria (except for A. araucana).

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

i turned it around; i don't know why. it was just bugging me.....lol

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Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

Me too! Now if I can only ID what is painted on the blue fingernails....

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

Found this:
Encephalartos woodii produces six to eight bright orange-yellow cones. These are large, cylindrical in shape, 40 - 90 cm long, occasionally reaching a length of 1,2 m, with a diameter of 15 - 20 cm

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Well, if it is a cycad, the only cone that even comes close is the shot growin showed of a male Cycas revoluta... and that is a pretty common cycad, though why someone would remove the cones before they opened, I have no idea (this species does not even get that stinky, unlike Dioon cones which smell horrible).

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Question - because I dont know anything about what any of you are talking about but have sparked my interest...are there seeds in the cone like a pine cone?
And is a Sego Palm a cycad?
Is it a male sego palm seed pod?

San Francisco, CA

Quote from minnesippi :
Question - because I dont know anything about what any of you are talking about but have sparked my interest...are there seeds in the cone like a pine cone?
And is a Sego Palm a cycad?
Is it a male sego palm seed pod?


Cycad plants (and cones) are either male or female. A male cone just produces pollen, then dies. Only female cones produce seed, and only if pollenated.

The plant commonly called a "sago palm" in the US is a cycad, not a true palm; it is Cycas revoluta.

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

Good to know.
I have a sago that is doing poorly :/ Need to learn more about it.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Also, cycad seeds are NOT like pine cone seeds- they are much larger (up to 1" in diameter and usually oblong). Seeds may be produced whether pollinated or not, but if not pollinated, seeds will not be viable- often these unpollinated seeds are smaller (as in Cycas revolutas) or maybe nearly the same size as good seed (as in some Encephalartos species).

PS. there is a true Sago Palm, but it is indeed a large palm and not a cycad and cannot grow in the US (except for Hawaii and maybe south Florida)- too tropical... grows in the swamps of Asia. The two look nothing alike.

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

My sago is a house plant which I currently have on the deck. It doesnt seem too happy.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

cycads make poor house plants.. most need full sun to perform well (though a few, like many Zamias) do well in shade- but those need some supplemental light and LOTs of humidity. Cycas revolutas though do best in full sun... tend to get very weak and sickly in a house.

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

it actually looks like it got sunburnt. Did very poorly once I put it in the sun. Liked it better in the house.

(Sorry - not trying to hi-jack the post)

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

When you have something inside and want to move it outside, you need to adjust it gradually to the higher light levels outside or else it will sunburn. This is true even if it's something that ultimately would be happier in full sun.

brainerd, MN(Zone 4a)

I did that - it was under my canopy for over a week, then moved slowly toward the edge with more sun. I just dont have good luck with house plants. I can kill an ivy or a philodendron inside - but outside I grow monsters :)

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

I wonder why someone would cut off this cone from the plant. I did a google search for volunteer park cycas and came up with Cycas circinalis with the first google image result showing a good match.

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