Photo Anders Lindstrom
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The Cycad Pages
Cycas lacrimans

Cycas lacrimans A.J.Lindstr. & K.D.Hill, "Telopea 12(1):136–138, fig. 5" (2008). H—NY
"TYPE: Philippines: Mindanao: Davao, Mati, Ramos & Edaño BS 48953, Mar–Apr 1927 (holo NY, iso BM, BO, P)."[NY]


Etymology: The specific epithet is from the Latin lacrimans, crying, in reference to the drooping or weeping habit of the leaves.

Historical notes: Although first collected in 1927 by Ramos & Edaño, this taxon was not recognised as a distinct species until 2006.

Distinguishing features: The long megasporophylls with reduced lateral spines, the seeds with no spongy endotesta and the lax, drooping leaflets distinguish this from all other Philippine species.

Distribution and habitat: Philippines, known at present only from hill forests of eastern Mindanao. Serpentine soil.

Conservation status: If restricted to this small area the species is in need of urgent protection in situ. Deforestation and other habitat destruction is extreme. IUCN (2001) Red List status EN.
Photo Anders Lindstrom

Description:

Stems arborescent, to 1–2 m tall.

Leaves glossy green, 168–200 cm long, flat (not keeled) in section, with 76–85 leaflets; petiole 45–50 cm long, lacking tomentum, spinescent for 90–100% of length with needle-like stout 6 mm long spines; basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 170–190 mm long.

Median leaflets simple, discolorous underneath, 280–320 mm long, 7–13 mm wide, narrowed to 2–3 mm at base, 12–14 mm apart on rachis; section recurved; margins folded, not undulate; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib sunken above, raised below.

Cataphylls broadly triangular, stiff, pilose, 55–60 mm long.

Pollen cones ovoid, light brown, c. 42 cm long, c.16 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, c. 34 mm long, 19 mm wide, fertile zone 34–38 mm long, sterile apex 1–2 mm long, level; apical spine very slender, 12–17 mm long.

Megasporophylls c. 37 cm long, cream-tomentose, tomentum not shedding; ovules 4–6, glabrous; lamina triangular, c. 55 mm long, c. 20 mm wide, lateral spines shallowly pectinate; with 15–24 pungent lateral spines 3–8 mm long, 1–2 mm wide; apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 35–38 mm long, 3–5 mm wide at base.

Seeds oblong, c. 40 mm long, c. 20 mm wide; sclerotesta smooth; spongy endotesta absent.


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