Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unkind words about sagos

In California, apparently you lock down a good specimen of sago / Cycas revoluta. In Houston, the issue has not come up--at least not for me, because I don’t design with them. I do get asked to pull out badly placed specimens where an eye-gouging mammoth has grown from a Boston fern-sized charmer.

Dare ya to walk through there.

The reason they don’t get filched is that we are near sago saturation here, with a dull stiff cycad in almost every yard and landscape. Besides looking ‘tropical’ (though they hail from Japan), I reckon sagos’ popularity is supported by their easy propagation, durability and fast growth, for a cycad. (They flush out yearly with an increasing number of fronds. Compare that to the mingy frond per year on a Dioon edule). With the ease of making more sagos, filching them should be irrelevant.

Recently a subcontractor who works with me was telling about a job he’d been hired to do: relocate a sago that had a cable running through the trunk and into a subterranean concrete footing. He tripled the price. We shook our heads at the wonder of it.

It would be too much to hope that California would come and take these sagos away.

What am I missing here? What is the crazy appeal of this plant? Do they actually get pirated away in Houston, too?


compost in my shoe said...

Typical scenario of poor placement and uncreative use in the landscape. Imagine what they might look like in the flip side?

Town Mouse said...

What a funny coincidence. Just did a post about having cycads removed from my front garden. Bad choice for California, trust me, though not everyone is smart enough to figure that out...

Les said...

They have been planted more frequently here in SE Virginia over the past couple of years. They are usually in the yards of people trying to push the limit on palms and other tropicals, or in front of Chinese take out places. I knew it would take a more typical winter then we have had recently and they would be toast. We had that winter this year and I have not seen one that managed to survive.

Muddy Mary said...

Quite right. Nothing says 'We don't know how to garden for our region' like sago palms.