True sago palm is a suckering (multiple-stemmed) palm, each stem only flowering once (hapaxanthic) with a large upright terminal inflorescence. A stem grows 7-25 m tall before it ends in an inflorescence. Before flowering, a stem bears about 20 pinnate leaves up to 10 m long. Each leaf has about 150-180 leaflets up to 175 cm long. The inflorescence, 3-7.5 m tall and wide, consists of the continuation of the stem and 15-30 upwardly-curving (first-order) branches spirally arranged on it. Each first-order branch has 15-25 rigid, distichously arranged second-order branches; each second-order branch has 10-12 rigid, distichously arranged third-order branches. Flower pairs are spirally arranged on the third-order branches, each pair consisting of one male and one hermaphrodite flower. The fruit is drupe-like, about 5 cm in diameter, covered in scales which turn from bright green to straw-coloured upon ripening.
- 1 cm