Recently, I found a cardboard palm at Lowe's and thought it was lovely and most probably a cycad. Well, I was right! It is indeed a cycad (1 of roughly 300 known species). Cycads are amazing because they're dinosaur plants and have that awesome Jurassic Park feel. Sago palms are also cycads, and from the number of them here in Central Texas, you would never figure the division is endangered.
Reading up on the cardboard palm, I'm glad I didn't buy one. The seeds/berries are very tasty and very lethal. There are many reports of dogs eating them and dying horribly due to the toxicity of the pulp. No doubt my dogs would get a hold of the seeds before I did. However, not all cycads are deadly. One that has my eye right now is the dioon edule. I have seen its larger relative, the zamia furfuracea, growing along I-35. I can only figure it's alive in zone 8B because of the heat and shelter of growing along such a business interstate. The dioon edule is supposed to be hardy here generally though, and I would love to get a hold of one of these prehistoric creatures.
Once I remove a large cedar from my backyard, I will have the perfect spot for it where it'll receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Then I'll throw some achillea around it because achillea has that fern-like texture and drought tolerance to make it a very cool buddy in a Jurassic plot without resorting to ferns that need more time and attention than what I can deal with. However, I think it might be a little odd ball in the general landscape that I have. Still, I love dinosaurs and would love to have a little dinosaur garden plot. I could throw in the alligator statuary that I've been wanting for a bit now. Maybe this statue... or this except larger.