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A cycad is a tropical palmlike evergreen plant. Cycads flourished especially during the Jurassic and are represented by four surviving families. Cycads have crowns of large, feathery compound leaves and cones at the ends of their branches. Some have tall, unbranched trunks; others have partially buried stems with swollen trunks. Slow-growing cycads are used as ornamental conservatory plants, but some survive outdoors in temperate regions. The stems of some cycads yield starch that is edible if thoroughly cooked. The young leaves and seeds of others also are edible.
Origin and Etymology of cycad
New Latin Cycad-, Cycas, genus name, from Greek kykas, manuscript variant of koïkas, accusative plural of koïx, a kind of palm
First Known Use: 1845
CYCAD Defined for Kids
Definition of cycad for Students
: a tropical plant like a palm but related to the conifers
Learn More about cycad
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cycad
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