|The Cycad Pages
- Cycas saxatilis K.D. Hill & A. Lindtsr., "Telopea 12(1):128–129, fig. 2 " (2008). H—L
- "TYPE: Philippines, Palawan, St Pauls Bay, major outcrop to SE, pendulous on limestone cliff face, Podzorski SMHI 2035, 6 Apr 1984 (holo L)."
From the Latin saxatilis, dwelling among rocks, in reference to the soil-free
Apparently first collected in 1984, this singular and distinctive
species was not recognised as new until 2001, and was
undescribed until 2008.
It distinguished from all other species in the region
by the limestone cliff habitat, the narrow pollen cones with no apical spines on
The type specimen consist of leaves and a male cone which most closely matches
C. curranii. C. curranii is tall growing and erect on serpentine soil in rainforest. however
the plants that were observed growing at St Pauls Bay are pendulous on limestone cliffs
in exposed places and this field observation has lead to the conclusion that they are
two different taxa, even though complete material of C. saxatilis (i.e. female cones and
seeds) have not been seen.
Distribution and habitat:
Known only from limestone outcrops of the St Pauls
Mountain massif on Palawan.This species grows in crevices in vertical limestone
cliffs with no soil.
Although it is known from a single locality, this mountain area is quite
extensive, and plants are abundant in large, undisturbed populations
in the most
inaccessable sites. Most of the range is also included in the St Pauls
Bay National Park.
This species is not regarded as a threatened species.
IUCN (2001) Red List
Stems arborescent, to 0.5–4 m tall; growing on bare vertical cliffs.
Leaves bright green, highly glossy, 160–190 cm long, slightly keeled or flat in section (opposing leaflets inserted at c. 150-180° on rachis), with 170–380 leaflets, tomentum shedding
as leaf expands; rachis consistently terminated by paired leaflets; petiole 40–60 cm long (25–35% of total leaf), glabrous, spinescent for 50–90% of length; basal leaflets
not gradually reducing to spines, 150–230 mm long.
Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 220–340 mm long, 9–12 mm wide, inserted at 50–75° to rachis, decurrent for 3–5 mm, narrowed to 2.5–3 mm at base (to 20–25% of maximum width),
10–17 mm apart on rachis; section flat; margins flat, or slightly recurved, not undulate; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib raised above, raised below, narrow.
Pollen cones ovoid, cream or green, c. 49 cm long, c. 5 cm diam; microsporophyll lamina soft, not dorsiventrally thickened; level; apical spine rudimentary, upturned.
Megasporophylls and seeds not seen.