|The Cycad Pages
- Bowenia spectabilis Hook. ex Hook. f., Bot. Mag. 89: sub t. 5398 (1863). t. 5398
- "TYPE: the plate, Bot. Mag., t.5398 (1863); illustrated from a cultivated plant."
Latin, spectabilis, visually striking or remarkable,
from the unusual habit.
The original description was written by English botanist and director
of Kew Gardens,
William Jackson Hooker, and published by his son
The usually entire leaflets and the underground stems with less than 5
Distribution and habitat:
Scattered in open situations in and around rainforest in north-eastern
Queensland, on the coast and ranges from Cardwell to Cooktown,
with an outlying occurrence in the McIlraith Range. Examples with
serrate leaflets occur occasionally in most populations through
the range of this species. These have been distributed in horticulture as
Bowenia "Tinaroo", since this variant is especially common
on the Atherton Tableland near Tinaroo. The wide occurrence in almost all
populations of B. spectabilis means however that it is
not a taxonomically recognisable entity.
Not considered to be at risk (IUCN Red List category LR,lc).
acaulescent; stem subterranean, tuber-like, elongate,
to 10 cm in diameter, with an elongate tuberous taproot, and
1-5 short, slender leaf and conebearing branches.
1-7 in the crown, erect, with 4-10 spreading
branches (pinnae), 100-200 cm long, to 100 cm broad; petiole to
100 cm long.
7-30 on each branch, obliquely lanceolate,
decurrent at base, 7-15 cm long, 1.5-4 cm broad, entire or a few
with occasional coarse lacerations, or rarely regularly shortly serrate.
stalked, ovoid, to 5 cm long, 2.5 cm in diameter;
sporophylls broadly cuneate, distally dilated and truncate.
sessile, ovoid to globose, to 10 cm long, 10 cm in diameter;
sporophylls in about 8 ranks, the expanded ends ± hexagonal,
3-4.5 cm broad, c. 1.5 cm high.
to 3.2 cm long, 1.8 cm wide; sarcotesta white maturing to dull purple.