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A study extending over more than fifteen years has necessitated trips to Mexico, Cuba, Australia, and Africa. All the genera and many of the species have been studied in the field, and material has been preserved for later study in the laboratory. In addition to investigations by the author, studies upon this material have been published by Dr. R. Thiessen, Dr. Sister Helen Angela, and Dr. F. Grace Smith, and studies by Mr. Ward L. Miller and Miss LaDema Langdon are in progress.
Part I is an account of the distribution, general appearance, and field conditions of the cycads, together with some of the experiences which come to one who attempts an investigation involving so much travel in distant and varied tropical countries. Technical terms are avoided except in the names of plants.
Part II presents the life-history of the group and is based largely upon my own observations in the field and in the laboratory. Wherever statements are made which have not been confirmed by my own observation the authority is quoted.