|The Cycad Pages
- Cycas curranii (J. Schust.) K.D. Hill, Proc. Third Int. Conf. Cycad Biol.: 150 (1995). L—K
Honouring US-born forester
collector of the type specimen.
Zamora & Co 1986
(as C. wadei).
Zamora & Co 1986
The first record of a distinctive cycad from Palawan was by
Merrill (1911), who recorded "... a very slender staminate cone. Probably a new species ...".
Nothing more was done until German botanist
in 1932 attached the above quadrinomial based on the specimen collected
by Curran. This in no way reflects the relationships and affinities
of C. curranii, and this taxon was generally ignored subsequently
until raised to species rank in 1996 by Australian botanist
Zamora & Co (1986) listed plants from Palawan as C. wadei,
a closely related species.
Large seed collections from the wild were distributed in the early
1990's, and plants from these are now abundant in cultivation.
Readily distinguished by the combination of the symmetrically
ribbed sclerotesta and the broad leaflets. Only C. wadei
shares the ribbed sclerotesta, although seeds of the latter are
half as large as those of C. curranii, and leaflets are narrower.
Distribution and habitat:
Know only from Palawan Island, a species of primary closed forests on
the mountainous serpentinite outcrops that make up the central "spine"
of the island. It also occurs on alluvial boulders outwash and stream banks
on rivers flowing out from the mountains.
Widespread, although individuals are scattered as is the case with many species of
closed forest cycads. There are vast areas of relatively undisturbed
forest that are host to this species in the Palawan mountains, and it is not
considered to be at risk
(IUCN Red List category LR,nt).
Stems arborescent, to 3 m tall.
Leaves deep green, highly glossy to semiglossy, tomentum shedding as leaf expands. Petiole glabrous, spinescent. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines.
Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 260-280 mm long, 11-13 mm wide; section flat; margins flat; not spinescent; midrib raised above, flat below.
Cataphylls pilose, persistent.
Pollen cones fusiform; microsporophyll lamina waxy, not dorsiventrally thickened, apex deflexed, apical spine absent.
Megasporophyll lamina orbicular, deeply pectinate, apical spine distinct from lateral spines; ovules glabrous.
Seeds subglobose to ovoid; sarcotesta yellow, not pruinose; fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta longitudinally ribbed. Spongy endocarp absent.