The Cycad Pages
FAMILY  Zamiaceae

Palm like plants with subterranean to tall and erect usually unbranched cylindrical stems, stems clad with persistent leaf bases (in Australian genera). Leaves simply pinnate, spirally arranged, interspersed with cataphylls; leaflets sometimes dichotomously divided. Longitudinal ptyxis erect to inflexed or sometimes reflexed, horizontal ptyxis conduplicate. Leaflets with several sub parallel dichotomously branching longitudinal veins, lacking a mid rib; stomata on both surfaces or undersurface only; individual ptyxis flat. Trichomes coloured or transparent, branched or unbranched, short curved or idioblastic. Male and female sporophylls spirally aggregated into determinate axillary cones. Female sporophylls simple, appearing peltate, with a barren stipe and an expanded and thickened lamina with 2 (rarely 3 or more) sessile, orthotropous ovules inserted on the inner (axis facing) surface and directed inwards ("inverted"). Seeds radiospermic.

Two subfamilies with nine genera and about 150 species in the tropical and warm temperate regions of Africa, Australia and North and South America. One subfamily, the Encephalartoideae, characterised by spirally arranged sporophylls (rather than spirally orthostichous), non articulate leaflets and persistent leaf bases, is represented in Australia, with two genera and 40 species.

Bowenia Ceratozamia Chigua Dioon Encephalartos Lepidozamia Macrozamia Microcycas Zamia

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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