The Cycad Pages
Macrozamia macdonnellii

Macrozamia macdonnellii (F. Muell. ex Miq.) A. DC., Prodr. 16(2): 537 (1868). ?H—MEL

Etymology: In reference to the occurrence in the MacDonnell Ranges.

Historical notes:

Distinguishing features: The distinct clear petiole and amphistomatic leaves suggest that this species is allied to the Western Australian taxa. It is readily distinguished by the strong blue colour and the very large seeds and female cones.

Distribution and habitat: Northern Territory, the MacDonnell Range and associated range systems. Widely scattered on thin soils on rocky slopes, in Triodia grassland or open woodland.

Conservation status: Not considered to be at risk (IUCN Red List category LR,lc). Gazetted under Northern Territory legislation ... 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category V.


Plants arborescent, stem 0.4-3 m tall, 60-80 cm diam.

Leaves 50-120 in crown, blue, dull, 150-220 cm long, moderately keeled, with 120-170 leaflets; rachis not spirally twisted, recurved, arching stiffly downwards; petiole 12-25 cm long, straight, spinescent, 15-25 mm wide at lowest leaflets; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets simple, concolorous to weakly discolorous; margins flat; apex entire, spinescent; median leaflets 200-300 mm long, 7-11 mm wide.

Pollen cones fusiform, 25-40 cm long, 8-10 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina 30-40 mm long, 15-20 mm wide; apical spine 0-25 mm long.

Seed cones ovoid, 40-50 cm long, 20-27 cm diam.; megasporophyll lamina 70-100 mm long, stipe 50-70 mm long, megasporophyll with an expanded peltate apex 80-125 mm wide, 40-60 mm high; apical spine 0-20 mm long.

Seeds ovoid, 60-80 mm long, 40-53 mm wide; sarcotesta orange, or orange-brown.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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