The ferocious blue cycad is a long-lived, slow-growing plant that has several characteristics typical of desert plants.
Its leaves are spiky to protect against hungry herbivores, and they’re covered in a blueish waxy coating to prevent water loss. It also has a subterranean trunk – instead of growing up to the sky, this cycad’s trunk pushes down into the soil.
We consider this endangered plant to be a survivor from the U.S. Exploring Expedition that returned to Washington, D.C. in 1842.