|The Cycad Pages
- Cycas papuana F. Muell., Descr. Notes Papuan Pl. 4: 71-72 (1876).
- "TYPE: New Guinea, Fly-River, D'Albertis s.n. (lecto (fide Hill 1994) MEL 68056; isolecto K)."
From its original collection from the British Territory of Papua.
Schuster 1932 (as
C. rumphii var. papuana).
Hill 1996, fig. 5.
The basis of this species was cited only
as `On the Fly-River; D'Albertis.' The two sheets MEL68056 and
MEL68057 (photos NSW) apparently collected by D'Albertis were
annotated only by Mueller, and do not bear D'Albertis' name. A
portion of the former was sent to K by Mueller, according to his
annotation on the sheet. The sheet MEL 68056, annotated by Mueller
`parofolii supera / Fly-River', is more comprehensive, and has
been designated the lectotype.
C. papuana is a member of the C. armstrongii group, differing
in the longer leaves with longer petioles and more leaflets (C.
armstrongii has leaves 55-90 cm long with petioles 10-25 long
and 160-220 leaflets). The long, unarmed petiole resembles that
of C. conferta, which differs in the somewhat shorter leaves
(70-110 cm long) with more closely crowded leaflets (spaced at 4.0-7.0
mm on rachis), less extended sterile apex on the microsporophylls
(6-8 mm long), and larger seeds (36-40 mm long). Both C. armstrongii
and C. conferta are endemic in the Northern Territory of
Distribution and habitat:
Papua New Guinea, Western District, from the flood-plains of the
Fly River and around Daru west at least to the Bensbach River.
A sporadic but widespread component of savanna woodlands on flat
country, sometimes locally abundant.
Abundant and apparently not at risk.
Stems arborescent, to 2.8 m tall. 30 leaves in crown.
Leaves bright green (bluish when new), semiglossy, 100-130 cm long, slightly keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 130-160° on rachis), with 180-250 leaflets, with white and orange tomentum shedding as leaf expands; rachis usually terminated by a spine. Petiole 30-40 cm long (25-35% of total leaf), petiole glabrous, unarmed. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 30-90 mm long.
Median leaflets simple, weakly discolorous, 80-130 mm long, 6-9 mm wide, inserted at 60-80° to rachis, decurrent for 1.5-5 mm, narrowed to 3.5-5.5 mm at base (to 55-65% of maximum width), 5.5-14 mm apart on rachis; median leaflets section flat; margins flat; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib raised above, raised below.
Cataphylls linear, pungent, pilose, persistent.
Pollen cones ovoid, orange, 15-20 cm long, 8-10 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, 24 mm long, 10 mm wide, fertile zone 17 mm long, sterile apex 7 mm long, level, apical spine rudimentary, sharply upturned, 1-5 mm long.
Megasporophylls 16 cm long, brown-tomentose; ovules 4-6, glabrous; lamina lanceolate, regularly dentate, pungent, apical spine distinct from lateral spines.
Seeds ovoid, 32-35 mm long, 25-29 mm wide; sarcotesta orange-brown, not pruinose, 1.5-2.5 mm thick; fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta smooth. Spongy endocarp absent.