Ancient Creatures

Cycads and their close relatives the Encephalartos are among the ancient plants of the world, found in fossil remains some 280 million years old. Plus, they are known to live as long as one thousand years. So they are a natural choice for the monks to plant near Kadavul Temple where our giant mango tree had to be removed. So Sadasivanathaswami, Arumuganathaswami and Adi Srikantha visited a cycad nursery yesterday and selected dozens of the species, to be delivered in July.

These plants create giant cones that weigh up to 60 pounds. In tribal days in South Africa, the cones were used as a food source, so it may not surprise that the name Encephalartos means, literally, "bread in the head" since there is a lot of high-quality starch in the crown head at the top of the trunk.

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