Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Cycas segmentifida

Cycas segmentifida D.Yue Wang & C.Y. Deng, Encephalartos 43: 11-14 (1995). H—SZG
"TYPE: cultivated, South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou, China, D.Y. Wang & H. Peng 2967, 16 May 1994 (holo SZG, iso FTG, GZAC, NF, NSW, XIN)."[NSW]

Etymology: Latin, segmentifida,

Literature: Wang 1996.

Illustrations: Wang 1996

Historical notes: Named in 1995 by Chinese botanists D.Y. Yang and C.Y. Deng.

Distinguishing features: Within the group of Chinese cycads with soft pollen cones, loose, freely peeling sarcotesta lacking a fibrous layer and rugose sculpting of the sclerotesta (Section Stangerioides), this species is distinguished by the small seeds, broad leaflets with flat or undulate margins, and leaflets that are flat and not twisted on the rachis.

Distribution and habitat: An extremely widespread although severely depleted species through western Guangxi, extending into southern Guizhou and eastern Yunnan, in both cases to a limited extent. This species occurs on a range of substrates from limestone to shale and schist, usually on steep slopes lower in valleys with some although often skeletal soil cover. Vegetation ranges from closed evergreen forest to mixed deciduous and evergreen woodland, although today is mostly severely degraded to grassland or scrubby secondary regrowth.

Conservation status: This species is moderately abundant over a considerable area in western Guangxi province, but severely depleted. There is however no immediate threat of extinction, although the severe depletion indicates that conservation action is appropriate, and this species is regarded as IUCN Red List category VU A2c.
Photo Ken Hill


Stems arborescent to acaulescent, to 0.5 m tall, 10-23 cm diam. at narrowest point; 8-25 leaves in crown.

Leaves deep green, highly glossy, 120-280 cm long, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis), with 80-190 leaflets, with orange tomentum shedding as leaf expands; rachis consistently terminated by paired leaflets. Petiole 40-140 cm long (30-50% of total leaf), petiole glabrous, spinescent for 90-100% of length. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 70-290 mm long.

Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 120-420 mm long, 9-20 mm wide, inserted at 50-80° to rachis, decurrent for 4-7 mm, narrowed to 3-7 mm at base (to 30-50% of maximum width), 11-24 mm apart on rachis; median leaflets section flat; margins flat; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib raised above, raised below.

Cataphylls narrowly triangular, soft, pilose, 70-100 mm long, persistent.

Pollen cones fusiform, yellow, 30-60 cm long, 5-12 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina soft, not dorsiventrally thickened, 20-30 mm long, 15-18 mm wide, fertile zone 17-27 mm long, sterile apex 3 mm long, level, apical spine absent.

Megasporophylls 16-25 cm long, yellow-tomentose or brown-tomentose; ovules 4-8, glabrous; lamina orbicular, 80-130 mm long, 50-120 mm wide, deeply pectinate, with 16-44 soft lateral spines 20-70 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 25-125 mm long, 8-20 mm wide at base.

Seeds subglobose, 28-35 mm long, 24-30 mm wide; sarcotesta yellow, not pruinose, 1.5 mm thick; fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta verrucose. Spongy endocarp absent.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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