WEEKLY PIC: NOVEMBER10 WEEK2

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This is just about the last plant in my garden I thought would ever feature here. But it is definitely this week’s choice. The photo above I took to show you the plant at its worst. But I love it. Which just goes to show – photos don’t always tell the truth. What do you think this plant might be?

2 This is really the sort of effect I wanted to show you which made it the plant of the week… any ideas yet?

3b Are those fronds, you are thinking…. no, they are not. This is not a fern. Nor is it a palm.

3 Got it yet? It is a cycad. Cycas revoluta, the Japanese Sago Cycad. Although South Africa has more indigenous cycads than any other country in the world, this one – the easiest to grow and most popular around the world – comes from Japan (You guessed it!) I was going to turf it out after all the winter damage and then over the weekend I discovered its fresh boss of leaves unfurling.

4 And now, I must admit, I am hooked. I only started appreciating cycads about two years ago. Most of the more interesting species would not be hardy in my garden though – and they can cost an arm and a leg… or more. And those little wild flowers peeping around the stem? They are  Wahlenbergia undulata, a delightful wilding. Darn. I thought I was going to keep my ‘weekly pic’ feature, although multi-picced, at least mono-planted…

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