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Abstract DE LUCA, P. (Dipartimento di Biologia vegetale and Orto Botanico, Universita di Napoli, via Foria 223, 80139 Napoli, Italia). A historical perspective on cycads from antiquity to the present. Memoirs of The New York Botanical Garden 57: 1"7. 1990. A brief survey of the history of cycads in various cultures is given beginning with the Etruscans. Their use in the religous practices of several cultures is also reviewed. The early exploration for cycads by naturalists and horticulturalists is discussed with particular reference to the discoveries and expeditions that led to the descriptions of the cycad genera. The historical aspects of the acquisitions of the more important large living collections in botanical gardens are outlined.
Keywords: cycads, living collections, exploration, cultural uses