Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia acuminata

Zamia acuminata Oerst. ex Dyer, "in Hemsl., Biol. Cent.-Amer., Bot. 3: 190-195" (1884).
"TYPE: Nicaragua, ad flumen S. Juan, Oersted s.n. (holo C)."

Etymology: In reference to the long acuminate leaflet tips.

Historical notes:

Distinguishing features: Small plant generally bearing 3-5 leaves with entire margins and leaflets with long drawn out apices. Female cones green when mature.

Distribution and habitat: Found from near sea level in Nicaragua (the type locality) to 1200 m in Panama. Generally prefers understory situations in cloud forest.

Conservation status: Zamia acuminata is considered rare in Panama and Nicaragua and vunerable in Costa Rica. Generally speaking though, local populations are healthy. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category R, II.
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stem subterranean, subglobose to cylindrical, rarely to 30 cm tall to 5 cm diam.


Leaves 1-5, to 1 m long; petiole to 60 cm, densely prickled; rachis with 6-15 pairs of leaflets, some prickles in lower third.

Leaflets elliptic-lanceolate, subcoriaceous, cuneate basally, very long acuminate apically, margins entire, the larger median ones 20-30 cm long, 1-3 cm wide.

Pollen cones cream to tan, cylindrical, 5-8 cm long, 1-1.5 cm diam.

Seed cones cylindical to ovoid, cream to tan, 10-20 cm long, 5-8 cm diam.

Seeds ovoid, red.

2n = 24.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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