Cycas sex

Our oldest, 21 year-old Cycas taitungensis finally decided to flower this year, but it waited until three months after all the other cycads had finished coning. Plants in the genus Cycas are dioecious, with male and female cones on separate plants. Our specimen turned out to be a female, and by the time we finally located pollen on the west coast and had it flown in, it was too late to have meaningful sex this year. At least we finally know what sex we have. Let’s hope it gets back on a more normal schedule in the future.

Cycas taitungensis with a female cone

2 thoughts on “Cycas sex”

  1. Have you tried storing pollen? We saved pollen from our Amorphophallus titanum and successfully pollinated the following year. Here’s how we did it.
    Collect fresh pollen and using a permeable material like glassine envelopes, seal and date. Using a mason jar, fill midway with dry powdered NONFAT milk. Top off jar with more powdered milk. Then close jar tightly. Let equilibrate at room temp overnight, the place in the freezer. This allows sllw dehydration to about 15% rather than the 5% using silica gel. Make sure the powdered milk is very fresh as it will adsorb water. If caked, drink it. Use a freshly open package. Can remove in bag and drop it into a screw top jar. As long as it is dry, should last. To be sure, stick in the freezer. When using, let jar reach room temp before opening to avoid condensation on the inner walls of the jar. Withdraw pollen from envelope and then close storage envelope. Never put any unused pollen back in to avoid outside contamination.
    Good luck!

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