Cycas circinalis Linn. Cycadaceae. Sago Palm.
Tropical eastern Asia and the Malayan Archipelago. Captain Cook speaks of the inhabitants of Prince Island eating the nuts, which poisoned his hogs and made some of the crew sick. He adds, however, that they are sliced and dried and after steeping in fresh water for three minutes and dried a second time they are eaten in times of scarcity as a food, mixed with rice. In Malabar, Drury says a kind of sago prepared from the nuts is much used by the poorer classes. Pickering says on the Comoro Islands it is a common esculent; Blanco says on the Philippines its fruit is sometimes eaten; Rumphius says it is eaten on the Moluccas; J. Smith 5 says a kind of sago is obtained from the stem.
Cycas revoluta Thunb.
Subtropical Japan. Thunberg says a small morsel of the pith of the stem is sufficient to sustain life a long time and on that account the plant is jealously preserved for the use of the Japanese army. The drupes are also eaten. J. Smith says it occurs also in China and New Guinea.