Bowenias are smaller cycads that look a lot like ferns. They appear as if they would be very tropical, but I have found them to be very cold hardy. The leaves are frost tender, but if the plants are growing under a tree, or other cover, they can tolerate temperatures in the low twenties. I have tested all the Bowenias down to 22F so far, and none of them had any burned leaves, as long as they were under the tree canopy. The stems are subterranean, so I think the plants can survive freezes into the teens. All the Bowenias prefer to grow under shade, and all react well to fertilizer applications.

     Bowenia serrulata is a plant that grows in a sandy area in Australia. They have been known to push roots, 6 feet deep in this sand. I think this fact is the key to growing this species. Many people have problems growing serrulata in the ground because their soil is not exactly right. These plants prefer shade and root room, if grown in pots. I have seen this plant with leaves that were 7 feet tall. B. serrulata can be identified by it's thinner leaflets with serrated edges.
     Bowenia spectabilis is one of my favorite cycads. It has smooth, more rounded leaflets. This species comes from rainforest type areas, in the northern part of Queensland where the soil is more organic. They don't grow the same kind of root system that B. serrulata does. They seem to prefer to grow in a wider pot, instead of deep pot. I have seen this plant grow to 5 feet tall, and 5 feet wide.
     Bowenia "Tineroo" is not a described species, but may be some day. It has slightly rounded leaflets with serrated edges, but can be variable. The habitat is far away from the habitat of B. serrulata. It grows in sand near Lake Tineroo in Queensland Australia. This is a fairly hard to find plant because the plant grows in a national park, and only a few people have breeding plants. It appears to be somewhat like a dwarf serrulata, but can grow to be 5 feet tall.