Leaves are large and prolific on each plant. They are palm-like, glossy and tightly arranged around a center single stalk. This is not a palm at all, but its own species, Cycad. This was near the Spanish Moss shown a few posts ago; so when looking at the center I was not certain whether the “fuzz” was fallen Moss or apart of the plant. It turns out the plant is a female (yes, there are separate female and male Cycads) with seed resting inside a fuzzy cushion.
This striking plant is a frequently found garden species in southern regions of the U.S. This one was in the Alfred Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Cycad has many names and a Japanese ancestry.
Formally it is known as Cycas revoluta (Syotetsu [Japanese ソテツ], sago palm, king sago, sago cycad, Japanese sago palm). Cycad means “curled back” referring to the leaves’ downward curve.
“Female plants produce a round, felt mass in the center of the leaf mass. Bright orange to yellow seeds mature on the female plant during mid-summer to fall.”