Additions to Marimurtra’s cycad collection

Marimurtra Botanical Garden is expanding its collection of cycads thanks to collaborators Javier Garcia Pua and Simon Lavaud

The recent exchange with Javier Garcia Púa has offered Marimurtra the opportunity to acquire a very valuable specimen for the garden’s collection of cycads. A hybrid of the palms Jubaea chilensis and Butia odorata was exchanged for the cycad Encephalartos lebomboensis, a native of South Africa like most cycads. This species is in danger of extinction and is at risk of disappearing in its wild state.

Two specimens of Dioon merolae and one Macrozamia mountperriensis were also purchased. With the help of cycad specialist Simon Lavaud, these specimens have been planted in different strategic areas of the Garden.

Dioon merolae is also in danger of extinction. While the two new specimens are relatively young, specimens more than 500 years old have been found. You can determine their age by the length of the trunk, or stem. To know the sex of the plant, you must await its cone-shaped inflorescence. Males and females look different.

These species add value to the collection of cycads, which continues to increase in variety and number of species, with the aim of guaranteeing the survival of this genus, as many cycad species are in danger of extinction. The collection at Marimurtra is fast becoming one of the most important collections of cycad in Europe, with acquisition of new species included in the garden’s budget.