Photo Wes Field
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The Cycad Pages
Cycas nitida

Cycas nitida K.D.Hill & A.Lindstr, "Telopea 12(1):142–143, fig. 6 " (2008). H—NSW
"TYPE: Philippines, Luzon, seeds from Rapu Rapu Is., E. of Luzon, plant (female) cult. Sydney Botanic Gardens, 2006 (holo NSW 728768)."[NSW]


Etymology: From the Latin nitida, shining, in reference to the extremely glossy leaves.

Distinguishing features: Very highly glossy leaves; small male cones, long spines on microsporophyll tips, distinct teeth on megasporophyll tips, spongy endotesta in seed.

Distribution and habitat: Philippines only, usually in littoral forests on the north and east of Luzon island.

Conservation status: This species occurs in coastal sites that have experienced severe pressures from population increase and development. This habitat is also coming under increasing pressure for aquaculture sites. Although probably not immediately threatened, it is potentially vulnerable in the longer term. IUCN (2001) Red List status NT.
Photo Wes Field

Description:

Stems arborescent.

Leaves deep green, highly glossy, 150–180 cm long, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing pinnae inserted at 180° on rachis), with 160–200 leaflets tomentum shedding as leaf expands; petiole 30–60 cm long, glabrous, spinescent for 50% of length; basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 270 mm long.

Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 270–370 mm long, 14–18 mm wide, 12–17 mm apart on rachis; section flat; margins slightly recurved; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib raised above, raised below.

Cataphylls Cataphylls narrowly triangular, soft, pilose.

Pollen cones fusiform, orange, 16 cm long, 4.5 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, 37–44 mm long, 12–23 mm wide; apical spine prominent, sharply upturned.

Megasporophylls 24–34 cm long, brown-tomentose; ovules 2–4, glabrous; lamina lanceolate, 43–60 mm long, 20–30 mm wide, distinctly dentate; with 8–16 lateral spines, pungent, 3–5 mm long; apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 14–20 mm long.

Seeds flattened-ovoid, 55–66 mm long, 45–50 mm wide; sarcotesta orange-brown; fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta smooth; spongy endotesta present.


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