Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, to 5 feet long, glossy dark green in color; leaflets lanceolate, 4-8 inches long, revolute entire margins, spine-tipped; central rachis yellow and armed with sharp barbs near the base of the leaves; produced in a rosette at the growing tip.
Flower: Species is dioecious; males produce tall yellow to buff-colored pollen cones to 2 feet tall; females produce short broad yellow fringed cones (technically leafy megaspophylls); flowering in late spring.
Fruit: Fringed cone scales of leafy megasporophylls fade to tan, open to reveal red-brown chestnut-like seeds; maturing over winter.
Bark: Rough, covered with reddish brown, old leaf bases.
Form: Squat shrub or small tree with a flat-topped crown; may achieve heights of 20 feet.
Additional Range Information: Cycas revoluta is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information