Czech Cycads

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Cycads in the Netherlands and Ronald van Soldt, the Netherlands

Three botanical gardens in the Netherlands specialise in cycads: the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, the Pinetum Blijdestein in Hilversum, and the extraordinary Hortus Botanicus Leiden.

Dutch Cycad People

Friedrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel (picture on left) is one of the best known the Dutch botanist in this field. He described  the Australian genus Macrozamia in 1842. His first major cycad work, published in 1842, is exemplary for its scientific rigor and quantity of information. In 1861, Miquel published the Prodromus Systematis Cycadearum and, in 1868 and 1870, "Nouveaux materiaux pour servir a la connaissance des Cycadees," a work in which he reported everything then known on the biology and systematics of these plants.

Georg Eberhard Rumpf (Rumphius in Latin, 1628-1702) was a German born botanist employed by the Dutch East India company. Cycas Rumphii was named in his honour.

Art Vogel (photo on left), the curator at Leiden Botanical Garden is the person responsible for the care and development of the beautiful cycads collection in Leiden .

Cycad Sellers

This country has a rich plants selling tradition, so one cannot be surprised to find also interesting Cycad Sellers in the Netherlands.

Garden by Garden

Leiden Hortus Botanicus

One of the best places in Europe to see cycads is not only exceptional in its collection, but also in the beauty of its new greenhouse (see photo on the bottom. There are some of the oldest Encephalartos altensteinii, Encephalartos natalensis and Macrozamia moorei in Europe. The unique Cycas javana and Cycas ferruginea come from a confiscated contraband of rare plants. You will not be able to see these species in public gardens elsewhere in Europe. If you continue your visit, you will see here also the big trees of Cycas edentata, Ceratozamia mexicana and Ceratozamia brevifrons, a beautiful big Encephalartos lehmanii and horridus, Encephalartos transvenosus and Encephalartos senticosus, old Dioon edule and many more more younger plants plants. The collection is in the care of Art Vogel (see photo). The plants are pollinated by the garden staff.

Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus

Amsterdam has also a veru nice collection of cycads, including the big Macrozamia moorei (photo on right), Encephalartos woodii, quite a big Dioon spinulosum, smaller plants of Encephalartos lehmanii and many other cycads. There is also a nice plant of Microcycas calocoma, received from the USA (photo on right) as well as some fossils.

Pinetum Blijdenstein in Hilversum

text and photos by Ronald van Soldt

The greenhouse in Hilversum is a well known cycads and conifers grower. Even though the collection in Hilversum is made mostly of younger plants, there are 5 huge Macrozamia moorei specimens similar to those in Leiden or Amsterdam and definitely a couple of hundreds of years old. Also there are quite nice specimens of E. tegulaneus, E. transvenosus, E. ferox, E. altensteinii, E. concinnus, E. longifolius, E. princeps, Cz. mexicana, several Dioons, E. natalensis, E. senticosus, E. villosus and E. lebomboensis. Most of those specimens between 20 and 50 years old, with nice caudexes, but no stems.

List of species in Hilversum:

Cycas spec. Cycas spec. nov. sylvestris Cycas spec. nov. wilailak Cycas apoa Cycas circinalis Cycas clivicola Cycas debaoensis Cycas edentata Cycas media Cycas micholitzii Cycas panzhihuaensis Cycas petraea Cycas revoluta Cycas rumphii Cycas seemannii Cycas siamensis Cycas siamensis 'Dwarf' Cycas simplicipinna Cycas taitungensis Cycas transachana Cycas tanqingii Cycas thouarsii Cycas thouarsii ssp. comor

Bowenia serrulata Bowenia spectabilis

Ceratozamia spec. Ceratozamia kuesteriana Ceratozamia latifolia Ceratozamia mexicana Ceratozamia norstogii Ceratozamia robusta

Dioon angustifolium Dioon califanoi Dioon edule Dioon edule "Palma Sola" Dioon edule "Rio Verde" Dioon mejiae Dioon merolae Dioon queretara Dioon rzedowskii Dioon spinulosum

Encephalartos spec. Encephalartos aemulans Encephalartos altensteinii Encephalartos arenarius Encephalartos concinnus Encephalartos cupidus Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos gratus Encephalartos hildebrandtii Encephalartos horridus Encephalartos ituriensis Encephalartos kisambo Encephalartos lanatus, Encephalartos laurentianus Encephalartos lebomboensis Encephalartos lehmannii Encephalartos longifolius Encephalartos natalensis Encephalartos natalensis 'Transkei' Encephalartos princeps Encephalartos senticosus Encephalartos tegulaneus Encephalartos transvenosus Encephalartos trispinosus Encephalartos villosus Encephalartos whitelockii

Lepidozamia hopei, Lepidozamia peroffskyana

Macrozamia aff.spiralis Macrozamia communis Macrozamia douglasii Macrozamia fraseri Macrozamia lucida Macrozamia mcdonnallii Macrozamia miquelii Macrozamia montana Macrozamia moorei Macrozamia riedlei

Stangeria eriopus

Zamia encephalartoides Zamia fischeri Zamia furfuracea Zamia integrifolia Zamia polymorpha Zamia pumila, Zamia roezlii Zamia skinneri Zamia vasquezii

Some Dutch Cycads Literature

  1. Miquel, F. A. W. 1842. Monographia cycadearum. R. Natan, Utrecht.

  2. Miquel, F. A. W. 1861. Prodromus systematis cycadearum. C. v. D. Post Amsterdam. C. G. v. D. Post. Jr., Utrecht.

  3. Miquel, F. A. W. 1868. Nouveaux materiaux pour servir a la connaissance des Cycadees. Premiere-troisieme parties. Arch. neerl. Sci. exactes nat. 3(3): 193- 254. 

  4. Miquel, F. A. W. 1868. Nouveaux materiaux pour servir a la connaissance des Cycadees. Quatrieme-cinquieme parties. Arch. neerl. Sci. exactes nat. 3(5): 403-427.

  5. Miquel, F. A. W. 1870. Nouveaux materiaux pour servir a la connaissance des Cycadees. Sixieme partie. Arch. neerl. Sci. exacces nat. 5(1): 74-88

Cycads in Europe & other countries

Read more in our articles

  1. Czech Republic (CZ) - some of the text can be also found on our English homepage - with some of the oldest Encephalartos altensteinii and the tallest Cycas circinales and Microcycas calocoma in Europe as well as a nice collection of fossil cycads

  2. Belgium (CZ) - This article adds some information to the text published in Whitelock on Encephalartos laurentianus, the species described from the plants from the Belgian Congo, still in collection in Meise

  3. Cuba (EN) and the Havana Botanical Garden - isolated country with not much information published abroad

  4. Denmark (EN) with the oldest Zamia lindenii in Europe

  5. the Netherlands (EN) under construction, with a beautiful collection in Leiden

  6. Poland (EN) with some historical plants from the original Warszewicz garden in Krakow and a fantastic group of Stangerias and 200 yrs old plants of Ceratozamia mexicana

  7. Portugal (EN) - see also our photo gallery from Lisbon

  8. Slovakia (EN) - with one of the EU well known cycad seed sellers

  9. Sweden (EN) with probably the largest Zamia pseudoparasitica on public display in Europe

Hortus Botanicus in Leiden - the cycad greenhouse is packed with beautiful old cycads (see photo bellow)
Macrozamia moorei in Amsterdam
Microcycas calocoma in Amsterdam comes from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam - Encephalartos altensteinii in the historic palm house

Ptilophyllum pecten - fossil cycad leaves in Amsterdam

Encephalartos cones in the Leiden greenhouse

Part of the Hilversum collection

Part of the Hilversum collection

Bottom photo: Leiden, smaller plants are on the 2nd floor, there are also cycads in the old greenhouses.