Cycads are an ancient group of plants with a crown of large compound leaves and a stout trunk. During the Jurassic Period, they were a common sight in many parts of the world. For this reason, the Jurassic is often referred to as the "Age of Cycads". Since then these plants survived many ice ages and the other climate changes of our world. Today, cycads are still part of the flora in tropical / subtropical regions and many cycads have found a home in public and private gardens around the world. The Cycas revoluta is one of the most popular cycads today, also called Sago Palm. Though cycads are often known by this name, they are not closely related to the palms.
The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam contributes to the conservation of cycads by cultivating and propagating the plants. The largest and oldest specimens in the Hortus can be found in the monumental palmhouse, including the more than 300-year-old Eastern Cape giant cycad, Encephalartos altensteinii.
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