En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 12, 2012

From: Bulverde, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Sago Palm from Bulverde TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband's job has taken him out of state and he left me in charge of his 27 year old sago palms, (house plants, sort of bonsai). They waited until he left and then quite perversely sprouted 3 foot tall antennas. Is that normal or should I worry about it making pod-people? I can provide pictures if it would help. thank you for any help you can give me.

ANSWER:

Since, as explained below, we don't know diddley about Sago Palms, we're going to make a wild guess that is a bloom stalk sticking up, but you should still follow our research links.

We would like to cop out and say all sago palms are non-native to North America (which they are) and that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. However, we hate to leave you hanging with your responsibility, so we will try to find some clues for you. When we googled for "sago palm" we got 4 different species, each with that common name. We are going to list those, each with a link to an article and (hopefully) a picture so you can decide which it is. Then, using the scientific name you have chosen as being the right one, search on "care of (plant scientific name)". Somebody, somewhere, must have the information you are looking for.

Metroxylon sagu - referred to as true Sago Palm, native to Indonesia and New Guinea. Article from Virtual Palm Encyclopedia.

Cycas revoluta native to Southern Japan. Article from Arizona Master Gardeners

Cyclis circinalis - native to Western Ghat area in India

Cycas micronesica - native to Micronesia, seeds poisonous. Article from ARKive

Honestly, if your husband has had these plants for 27 years, he may be the world's greatest expert on them. We suggest you ask him.

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
view the full question and answer

Plantings for beneath a red oak in Lubbock TX
February 23, 2012 - What would you recommend to plant in a two tiered raised bed facing west, totally blocked from the east, thus receiving only the afternoon sun? A 21 year old red oak sits in the middle of the upper ra...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

Yellow bands around edges of leaves in Whitney TX
July 20, 2009 - How can you tell whether esperanzas are getting too much water or not enough - ours have a small yellow band around the edges of the leaves - crape myrtles - same question
view the full question and answer

Plants for wet soils in North Carolina
October 03, 2009 - I'm looking for evergreen plants (shrubs or ground cover)that will tolerate wet conditions for the zone 8 area of North Carolina. The local garden centers here do not stock these types of plants, eve...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center