Their terrible attempts to answer this question indicate that my students really don't want to know the answer. This is one of those terrible defeating moments when you realize that your efforts to provide engaging activities, like comparing palms and cycads, were all for naught. Cycads are very palm like to the point that some are called palms, e.g., sago palm (Cycas revoluta). Cycad leaves have two rows of leaflets like that of many palms, and the leaves are borne in helical whorls at the ends of stems, and cycads often have a stocky main stem and little or no branching. However actually cycads are more fern like than palm like. The leaves develop by uncoiling like fern "fiddle heads" (left). Palm leaves encircle the stem so the trunks bear the familiar leaf scar rings. Cycad leaf scars are much smaller and helically arranged; no circles. Nobody, nobody responded correctly about cycad leaf development. Groan. This is why grading exams is such an awful thing to do.Sometimes you just want to rip off their heads and pour the botany in.