This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



July 3, 2015

The best plants for your landscape to show wealth and good taste - cycads


OK, I'll admit that I'm a snob on the subject of landscaping. And if you wanna show everyone how rich you are, and that you have good taste, you need to get some cycads. You may not be familiar with the term cycad, but you've seen the plants. You've seen them at every luxury resort that has a tropical, or semi-tropical climate, from the South of France to Hawaii. And for hundreds of years they have been a quiet symbol of wealth and good taste. And once you learn to recognize them, then you'll be seeing them everywhere - from James Bond movies to the backgrounds of movies filmed in Beverly Hills.

The most common cycad is commonly called a sago palm (Cycas revoluta). It's similar to the one in the drawing above, which is also a cycad, an Encephalartos Longifolius. Both plants show wealth and good taste, but the Encephalartos is usually many times more expensive than the cycas. It's kind of like the difference between a Rolls Royce and a Cadillac. Both are nice, and both show wealth and good taste.

You can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a nice-sized sago palm, and several thousand dollars for an Encephalartos. In the Phoenix area, where I live, I rarely see anything but sagos. The value of Encephalartos is such that they run the risk of being stolen, so many people, even in Los Angeles, keep them behind locked gates.
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