Stangeria is a genus with only one species, Stangeria eriopus.
There are two forms of this species, the forest form and the grasslands
form. There is a little controversy, whether or not these are
two distinct forms, or plants growing differently in varied conditions.
Stangeria was described as a fern for years until someone found
a plant producing a cone. It was then described as a cycad. This
plant grows better under conditions that you would think a fern
would prefer, instead of what you typically think a cycad would
prefer. They like the shade, and grow best under more humid conditions.
The leaves are a bit more tropical in nature, so they would burn
easily during a bad freeze, and should not be considered frost
tolerant. They have an underground stem, so even when the leaves
do get burned back, the plant can survive temperatures in the
20's. This plant can attain an 8 foot spread if grown correctly.
The leaves are held fairly flat, so this would not be a very tall
plant. Stangerias are beautiful plants and are well worth trying
in the garden.