Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Ceratozamia mexicana

Ceratozamia mexicana Brongn., "Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot., ser. 3, 5: 7-8" (1846).
"TYPE: Mexico, from Ghiesbrecht, cult. in Hort. Bot. Parisiensis, 1845, Brongniart s.n. (holo P)."

Ceratozamia mexicana var. tenuis Dyer, "in Hemsl., Biol. Cent.-Amer., Bot. 3: 193" (1884).

"TYPE: cultivated Hort. Kew, Dyer s.n. (Holo K-3 sheets)."

Etymology: From Mexico.

Historical notes: Named by French botanist A. Brongniart in 1846 from material cultivated in Paris.

Distinguishing features: Thick, concave and relatively narrow leaflets with attenuate, symmetrical tips and broad bases.

Distribution and habitat: Hidalgo, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Queretero and Veracruz states, Mexico, widely distributed from low to moderate elevations, from evergreen tropical forests to cloud forests and mixed deciduous woodlands and a range of geological substrates.

Conservation status: Not threatened. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category (I). Conserved in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Queretero.


Plants arborescent; stem 50 cm long, stem 20 cm diam.

Leaves 12-20 in crown. New growth emerging mid-green. Leaves light or bright green or dark green, semiglossy, 100-150 cm long, flat (not keeled) in section, with 50-150 leaflets; vernation straight; rachis not or slightly spirally twisted; petiole 20-50 cm long, armed with prickles.

Leaflets not clustered, lanceolate, symmetric, broadest below middle, falcate, concolorous, thick or leathery; margins flat; median leaflets 20-30 cm long, 15-40 mm wide.

Pollen cones brown, ovoid-cylindrical, 20-30 cm long, 10-12 cm diam.; peduncle 10 cm long; 10 mm wide.

Seed cones grey, ovoid-cylindrical, 20-35 cm long, 10-12 cm diam.; peduncle 12 cm long.

Seeds ovoid, 20 mm long, 18 mm wide; sarcotesta white, aging to brown.

The Cycad Pages

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