Spherical Sago
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Spherical Sago
D Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Spherical Sago
Botanical name: Cycas sphaerica    Family: Cycadaceae (Sago Palm family)

Spherical Sago is a shrush with tree-like stem. Leaves are bright green, semiglossy, 1.5-2.7 m long, tomentum shedding as leaf expands. Leaf-stalk is 45-60 cm long, hairless, spinescent for 90% of length. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines. Median leaflets simple, weakly discolorous, 20-30 cm long, 0.6-1.2 cm wide; section flat; margins flat; tip softly tapering, not spinescent; midrib raised above, flat below. Cataphylls narrowly triangular, soft, persistent. Pollen cones narrowly ovoid, orange, 45 cm long, 10 cm diameter; microsporophyll blade firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, 3.2-3.8 cm long, apical spine prominent, gradually raised, 1.7 cm long. Megasporophylls 15-25 cm long, brown-woolly; ovules 2-5, hairless; blade lanceshaped, 38-55 mm long, regularly toothed, with pungent lateral spines 0.5-1 cm long, apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 1.7-2.5 cm long. Seeds subspherical, 25 mm long; sarcotesta yellow; fibrous layer present; sclerotesta smooth. Spongy endocarp absent. Spherical Sago is native to E. & S. India.

Identification credit: JS Khuraijum Photographed in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve, Pollachi, TN.

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