The title of this post is misleading since it’s really about a cycad not a palm, but most people don’t know the difference and cycads do look like palms.
The particular cycad in question is probably in the genus Dioon, but we don’t know which species. I got this plant in 1975 having rescued it from destruction by a housecat that considered it to be a scratching post. It had a tennis ball sized trunk and a single mangled frond. The cycad responded to its rescue by growing into a fine specimen with a dozen or more three foot long fronds. While we lived in Santa Fe, NM we used the plant as a non-traditional Christmas tree. After moving to Texas, we planted it in the yard where it thrived until the early morning of January 9, 2010, when the temperature fell to an unusually cold 17°F. Our part of Texas experiences about three freezes a year and rarely drops below 28°F. The winter of 2009/2010 was very cold. As a result of this severe cold snap, the cycad died, or at least I thought it had.
In the early days of September of 2013, more than three and a half years after I thought the cycad had died, a sprout with four fronds grew from the base of the trunk. After three and a half long years the cycad was resurrected. I had long given up on the plant and had left the apparently dead trunk stand without removing it due to lack of time. Now, I’m glad I left it although I remain flabbergasted that the plant could remain dormant for so long.
The photo shows the light green fronds. The old trunk is to the immediate right. The palm like plant to upper right is Cycas revoluta, the common Sego Palm. This plant grows well here and tolerates much colder temperatures than do the Dioon species.
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