Queen Sago
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Queen Sago
ative Photo: Rashmi Shrinivas
Common name: Queen Sago, false sago, fern palm • Kannada: ಗೊಡ್ಡೀಚಲು Goddeechal, ಮುಂಡೀಚಲು Mundeechal, ಮಂಡೀಚಲು Mandeechal, ಕಾಡುಮದನಮಸ್ತಿ Kaadu madanamasti
Botanical name: Cycas circinalis    Family: Cycadaceae (Sago Palm family)
Synonyms: Cycas wallichii, Cycas undulata, Cycas squarrosa

Like other cycads, the Queen Sago resembles a palm tree with its featherlike leaves arranged in a rosette that crowns a single trunk. It is a larger and more graceful version of its more common Sago Palm.The queen sago's solitary trunk can grow up to 20 ft tall in height, more than twice that of the sago palm. In older specimens stem may branch. The dark green pinnate leaves grow up to 8 ft long, with narrow foot long leaflets that curve gracefully downward. New leaves are light green and contrast dramatically with the older foliage. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. In late winter the male and female "cones" emerge from the centers of the plants. Pollen from the male cones fertilizes the female cones. The female plants produce large orange seeds in a conelike structure located in the center of the rosette of leaves. Queen sago is endemic to Western Ghats, and is a popular landscape item now.

Identification credit: Rashmi Shrinivas Photographed in Karnatak College, Dharwad, Karnataka.

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