Cycads at Kew
Kew has an extensive collection of cycads that dates back many years. Specimens can be found in the Palm House, Temperate House and Evolution House. Kew holds the national collection of Encephalartos species.
Cycads are generally very long lived and they are extremely slow growing. The two specimens of Dioon spinulosum in the Palm House are at least 115 years old, but probably much older. Plants in wild populations have been estimated at 500 - 1000 years old. The trunks of cycads have no annual growth rings so their true age is difficult to judge. The oldest cycad at Kew, a plant of Encephalartos altensteinii in the Palm House, is at least 228 years old and considered to be one of the oldest pot plants in the world!
Recently, Kew's cycads have been used in attempts to pollinate these rare and endangered plants.