Photo Anders Lindstrom
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The Cycad Pages
Cycas indica

Cycas indica A. Lindstr. & K.D. Hill, "Telopea 11(4):481–483, fig. 3" (2007). H—E
"TYPE: India, Mysore, Hassan distr., Nagpuri, Chick Tirupathii, Saldanha 15197, 8 Oct 1970 (E)."


Photo Anders Lindstrom
Etymology: The epithet is in reference to the species endemic occurrence in India.

Historical notes: This is the entity that has been referred to in literature (Pant 1962, 1973; Singh 2006) as Cycas circinalis var. swamyi, but this name has never been validly or legitimately published. Reference has been made to the abnormal branching habit (Pant 1962, 1973), but no rigorous comparisons have been made with C. circinalis growing in other localities.

Distinguishing features: Similar to C . circinalis but distinct in the short apical spine and compact lamina with few, short (or almost lack of) lateral spines on the megasporophyll (Fig. 2), the shorter and narrower leaflets, overall shorter leaves and a distinct suckering growth habit. It shares the globose seeds with C. spherica.

Distribution and habitat: Restricted to the Hassan district in Karnataka State. Common on flat sandstone or on quartzite-dominated areas. This species forms extensive colonies.

Conservation status: Not known. IUCN (2001) Red List status DD.
Photo Anders Lindstrom

Description:

Stems arborescent,to 4 m tall, 10–23 cm diam.

Leaves deep green, semiglossy, 97–133 cm long, flat (not keeled) in cross-section, (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis), with 50–71 leaflets, indumentum present on petiole and leaflets. Petiole 28–32 cm long (25–35% of total leaf length), spinescent for 30%–90% of length. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 72–110 mm long.

Median leaflets simple, discolorous, 120–240 mm long, 7–8 mm wide, narrowed to 3–4 mm at the base (35–50% of total width), spaced at 12–15 mm on rachis; margins flat; midrib raised above, flat below.

Cataphylls narrowly triangular, soft, very finely tomentose, 50–80 mm long.

Pollen cones narrowly ovoid, yellow, c. 30–40 cm long, c. 15 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, c. 66 mm long, c. 28 mm wide, fertile zone c. 23 mm long, sterile apex merged with spine, apical spine prominent, sharply upturned, c. 41 mm long.

Megasporophylls 18 cm long, brown tomentose; ovules 6, glabrous; lamina 25–55 mm long, 19–22 mm wide with less than 10 short irregular lateral spines to 2 mm long; apical spine not distinct from lateral spines, 1–3 mm long, 1–3 mm wide at base.

Seeds globose, 32–35 mm long, 28–30 mm wide; sarcotesta yellow at maturity, fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta smooth; spongy endotesta absent.


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