Cycads of the WorldBook - 1993
Cycads superficially resemble palms and are often misidentified as such. However, cycads are actually a unique assemblage of primitive plants that have been around for at least 250 million years. Because of their great antiquity they have been described as living fossils and the coelacanths of the plant world. Cycads were an important source of food for the dinosaurs and, despite their toxicity, they have been prepared for food and valued by many cultures. Today they may be regarded as relicts, still widely distributed but diminished in diversity and persisting only in small disjunct communities. They have become highly sought after for gardens, both private and public, and their present status as endangered plants has engendered an upsurge of interest in their conservation. With Cycads of the World David Jones has achieved that difficult task of writing a scientifically accurate text which is easy both to read and to understand. The book covers all 185 living species in their 11 genera. It has over 250 color photographs, many descriptive line drawings, identification keys, distribution maps, and 16 fine old color engravings previously hidden away in antique volumes. David records the prehistory and history of cycads and their economic importance. He provides detailed information on their cultivation, biology, and propagation. The book will appeal to gardeners, landscape architects, horticulturists, botanists, conservationists, and curious general readers alike.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Smithsonian Institution Press, c1993
Branch Call Number: 585.9 JON
Characteristics: 312 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), maps ; 27 cm