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Cycas revoluta

Sago palm

About the plant

Although known as sago palm, this isn’t a palm but actually a cycad. This cycad is native to Japan and the Ryukyu Islands.

  • Least concern

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Animal food
    Plant is used as fodder to feed farm animals
  • Human food
    Plant supplies food for humans
  • Poison
    Plant is poisonous to humans
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Exploited for horticulture trade
  • Widely cultivated
  • Stems, roots and seed used for bread

Keeping out of harm’s way

Cycas revoluta can be found only on steep limestone cliffs. Here it is naturally protected as the cliffs remain relatively untouched, being difficult to access and undesirable for development or agriculture.


Lytico-bodig disease

This neurological disease was once the leading cause of death among the Chamorro people on Guam. It has symptoms similar to Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease.

Some believe that the local fruit bats fed on cycads (Cycas micronesica) which contain BMAA, a known neurotoxin. When humans ate these bats, these toxins were passed on. Incidence of the disease has declined as bats numbers have fallen.

There's a sago palm at Myokokuji Temple in Japan thought to be over 1,100 years old
  • Least concern

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Animal food
    Plant is used as fodder to feed farm animals
  • Human food
    Plant supplies food for humans
  • Poison
    Plant is poisonous to humans
  • Click on icon to reveal more