To your left, there is a female queen sago tree and to your right, there is a male. These trees are in a group called cycads and are survivors from the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838 to 1842. That voyage brought back more than 900 living plants and seeds from around the globe.
When the Conservatory was renovated in the late 1990s, all of the plants inside had to be moved. But the female queen sago tree was too large to dig out.
Instead, our gardeners cut off a 14-foot, 1,200-pound section of the trunk and rooted it at the Garden’s offsite production facility. The female cycad was returned to the newly reopened Conservatory in 2001 and planted alongside a male of the same species, also from the U.S. Exploring Expedition.