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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

I've waited 13 years for this!

Male cone of Cycas revoluta

My Cycad - Cycas revoluta (Sago Palm), which now proves to be a male, has produced a cone! OMG! For 13 years I've been waiting for this event and it happens now that I'm a week or two away from moving and leaving my garden behind! As with other cycads, the Sago Palm is dioecious, with the males bearing pollen cones (strobilus) and the females bearing groups of megasporophylls. Pollination can be done naturally by insects or artificially.

The white leaves you see on the fronds is the result of the terrible hail storm we had on the 9th October which all but annihilated my garden. It seems these hail storms are quite beneficial to gardens (despite the havoc they wreak) as I believe my Cycad responded to that pounding by producing this cone.

The Water lilies at my wildlife pond were also smashed to smithereens by the hail, some as big as tennis balls!, but within a week new leaves emerged above the left-over leaves and a proliferation of yellow flowers appeared. Also a first for me, I normally only have one or two flowers at a time.

However, I suffered a major loss with my Aloes - three of my 15-year old Aloe ferox were almost completely destroyed by the hail storm and it will take years and years for them to recover from this tragedy. Only once all die damaged and broken leaves are dead and brown and new growth has sprouted on the top will the Aloe be back to its former beauty. So unfortunately I won't be here to tend to them and help them over-come this damage and I sincerely believe the new owners are also nature lovers and will help these aloes through their difficult period.

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