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.
Once abundant during the Triassic and Jurassic eras, today only a handful of cycads species remain. Because cycads live in endangered habitats, such as tropical forests, grow slowly, reproduce infrequently and are under continuous threat from collectors, they are facing extinction in the wild.
Cycads and palms may look similar due to their symmetrically arranged, fan-like leaves, however cycads are gymnosperms, meaning they are non-flowering plants. Cycads produce only seeds and the seeds are not enclosed inside a fruit.
Palms on the other hand, are angiosperms, meaning they are flowering plants that produce both seed and fruit.
With the help of Montgomery Botanical Center, BBG has become a center for the conservation of cycads, native to Belize.