Definition of cycad in US English:

cycad

noun

  • A palmlike plant of tropical and subtropical regions, bearing large male or female cones. Cycads were abundant during the Triassic and Jurassic eras, but have since been in decline.

    Class Cycadopsida, subdivision Gymnospermae: twenty species in the genus Cycas and family Cycadaceae

    • ‘Plants with strong forms predominate, notably agaves and cycads, which complement the existing bird of paradise and queen palm.’
    • ‘By the end of the Paleozoic, cycads, glossopterids, primitive conifers, and ferns were spreading across the landscape.’
    • ‘A cycad looks like a palm tree with fernlike leaves, but proves that it is not a palm by producing cones, often resembling those of a pine but sometimes far larger.’
    • ‘A few species of cycads still exist in tropical and sub-tropical regions today, and although they are used as ornamental plants some of them are facing possible extinction.’
    • ‘In their time, Brent and Barbara have experimented with a wide range of plants, but their obsession is for cycads, a winning trend in gardening today.’
    • ‘A marigold may take three days to germinate, a cycad may take three months.’
    • ‘He suggests that the link between plants and man lies hidden in primeval ecosystems inhabited by cycads, rhizomes and coral.’
    • ‘Ginkgo trees, like some conifers and cycads, are dioecious, producing pollen and seeds on separate trees.’
    • ‘The coastal palms and cycads in the area are quite beautiful.’
    • ‘Modern cycads are tropical plants whose ancestors can be traced in the fossil record for about 300 million years.’
    • ‘These plants looked similar to modern cycads but contained cones in their trunks instead of on top of the plant.’
    • ‘On land, the vegetation generally consisted of conifers, cycads, ginkgos, ferns and horsetails.’
    • ‘We made good time, leaving the bitter pea fields to enter a different landscape of blackbutt forest interspersed with hundreds of grass trees and the occasional cycad.’
    • ‘The garden has been established for many years, and contains large specimens of both palms and cycads.’
    • ‘The early Mesozoic was dominated by ferns, cycads, ginkgophytes, bennettitaleans, and other unusual plants.’
    • ‘Both cycads and ginkgoes are dioecious, which means male and female reproductive structures are located on different plants.’
    • ‘Since form is a main feature of the impact of a winter garden, indigenous plants such as cycads and aloes do not necessarily look amiss when included in a garden planting that already has these mature exotics in it.’
    • ‘Instead of ponderosa pines, the dominant plants were cycads, which resemble tree ferns.’
    • ‘Though they are often among the larger plants in their environment, cycads are no longer abundant or dominant components of the world flora.’
    • ‘Chandler thought the seeds most closely resembled those of true cycads.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Cycas, Cycad- (order name), from supposed Greek kukas, scribal error for koikas, plural of koix ‘Egyptian palm’.

Pronunciation