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Plant Identification: huge, huge cone from a mystery tree

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garden18
Sherman Oaks, CA

June 3, 2012
1:00 PM

Post #9150417

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

Thumbnail by garden18
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 3, 2012
1:44 PM

Post #9150460

Probably a cone from a cycad, not a tree
KayJones
Panama City Beach, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 3, 2012
2:22 PM

Post #9150505

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 3, 2012
8:56 PM

Post #9151069

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.
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 3, 2012
9:12 PM

Post #9151088

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.
garden18
Sherman Oaks, CA

June 3, 2012
9:38 PM

Post #9151101

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
12:11 AM

Post #9151141

Araucaria cones fade in color after they fall off. Absolutely sure it's not a cycad cone.
KayJones
Panama City Beach, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2012
4:07 AM

Post #9151201

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.
tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2012
5:32 AM

Post #9151261

I believe it is the Araucaria araucana….Monkey Puzzle tree….A friend was looking for one some time back. :-)))
KayJones
Panama City Beach, FL
(Zone 8b)

June 4, 2012
7:29 AM

Post #9151442

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

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
8:14 AM

Post #9151509

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
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 4, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9151594

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.

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
10:20 AM

Post #9151660

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

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
10:34 AM

Post #9151685

It does look like this cone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/glennf/20342176
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 4, 2012
10:42 AM

Post #9151694

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

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
2:59 PM

Post #9152125

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.
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 4, 2012
4:02 PM

Post #9152263

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.

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
4:44 PM

Post #9152343

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.

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
4:54 PM

Post #9152369

Here is a link to Araucaria bidwilli cones (these are 'fresher' unlike the one that obvious fell off the tree in that sideways photo)
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/257461/

Few representative cycad photos:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/291892/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/298600/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/146659/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/252864/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/291859/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/172798/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/282582/

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 4, 2012
9:46 PM

Post #9152762

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

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2012
2:34 AM

Post #9152832

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

Resin

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 5, 2012
10:14 AM

Post #9153216

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).

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2012
10:23 AM

Post #9153221

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

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2012
10:28 AM

Post #9153224

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

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2012
10:44 AM

Post #9153246

After doing some searching I'm leaning towards Encephalartos.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 5, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9153250

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).

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2012
11:05 AM

Post #9153279

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

Thumbnail by trackinsand
Click the image for an enlarged view.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 5, 2012
11:17 AM

Post #9153292

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

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2012
11:41 AM

Post #9153319

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 5, 2012
3:43 PM

Post #9153620

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).
minnesippi
Oakdale, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 6, 2012
6:29 PM

Post #9155156

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?
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 6, 2012
8:36 PM

Post #9155267

minnesippi wrote: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.

minnesippi
Oakdale, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 7, 2012
6:32 AM

Post #9155524

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 7, 2012
7:06 AM

Post #9155555

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.
minnesippi
Oakdale, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 7, 2012
7:37 AM

Post #9155599

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

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 7, 2012
8:35 AM

Post #9155656

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.
minnesippi
Oakdale, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 7, 2012
9:41 AM

Post #9155727

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)
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 7, 2012
12:19 PM

Post #9155900

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.
minnesippi
Oakdale, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 8, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9156765

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 :)

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 8, 2012
10:40 AM

Post #9157016

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.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 8, 2012
10:58 AM

Post #9157039

Think you may have it Growin.

palmbob

palmbob
Acton, CA
(Zone 8b)


June 8, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9157048

I don't... Cycas circinalis has small pointed projections on the scales that that cone in the photo does not have... at least in all the plants I have seen.. cycas revoluta male cones are closer in appearance, though the cone above must have been removed very early before it had a chance to mature, it that is indeed a cycad cone. Google images sadly show dozens of different species anytime you ask it to list one single one, so you have to be careful about what they identify as this or that, as more often than not, they are incorrect (particularly when it comes to rare plant species)

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 8, 2012
11:24 AM

Post #9157066

Not givin' up are ya!!!!
Vestia
San Francisco, CA

June 8, 2012
12:02 PM

Post #9157096

Growin: sometimes the cones begin to press down on and distort the whorl of foliage. Males cones are even a potential falling hazard.

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