Cycad circle showcases a collection of one of the world’s oldest plant species. Cycads grow slowly, however under ideal conditions, can live for more than 1,000 years in the wild.
Once abundant during the Triassic and Jurassic eras, today only a handful of cycads species remain. And many of these are facing extinction in the wild because they live in endangered habitats, such as tropical forests, grow slowly, reproduce infrequently and are under continuous threat from collectors.
Cycads and palms look similar due to their symmetrically arranged, fan-like leaves. However, cycads are gymnosperms meaning they are non-flowering plants. They produce only seeds and the seeds are not enclosed in fruit. On the other hand, palms are angiosperms, meaning they are flowering plants that produce seed and fruit. Both cycads and palms can be found in warmer climates.
With the help of Montgomery Botanical Center, BBG has become a center for conservation of cycads native to Belize.