Cycas rumphii (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cycas rumphii Miq.

Family: Cycadaceae


  • Cycas circinalis L.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: pakis haji, pakis raja
  • Malaysia: paku laut, paku gajah, bogak
  • Philippines: pitogo (Tagalog), bait (Sulu), sauang (Iloko)
  • Burma: mong-tain
  • Thailand: prong-tha-le (peninsular), maphrao-sida (Prachuap Khiri Khan), prong (central)
  • Vietnam: thiên túê.


India, Sri Lanka, South-East Asia, Australia, Micronesia, wild and cultivated.


The seeds are edible, prepared as flour. Fresh seeds are poisonous. The youngest leaves are eaten as vegetable. A kind of sago is prepared from the trunk. A poultice of the seeds and bark is used to cure sores and skin complaints. The plant is also important as an ornamental.


  • Dioecious palm-like tree, up to 6 m tall, sometimes branched.
  • Leaves in a dense terminal whorl, pinnate, up to 2.5 m long and with 50-150 pairs of leaflets.
  • Flowers united in a cone, female cone terminal with numerous carpophylls, up to 50 cm long.
  • Seeds ovoid-ellipsoid, 3-6 cm × 2.5-5 cm, orange.

Often along the sea coast and in forests at low altitudes.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Brown, W.H., 1951-1957. Useful plants of the Philippines. Reprint of the 1941-1943 ed. 3 Volumes. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Technical Bulletin 10. Bureau of Printing, Manila, the Philippines.
  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2nd ed. 2 Volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.
  • Hsuan Keng, 1972. Cycad seeds as food in Malaya. The Malayan Nature Journal 25: 101-103.
  • Jones, D.T., 1984. Gymnosperms of Malaysia. The Cycads. Nature Malaysiana 9: 4-11.
  • Ochse, J.J. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1980. Vegetables of the Dutch East Indies. 2nd ed. Asher & Co, Amsterdam. 1016 pp.
  • Thierck, J.W., 1958. Economic botany of the cycads. Economic Botany 12: 3-41.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen