|Photo Christopher Hardy
|The Cycad Pages
- Zamia poeppigiana Mart. & Eichler, Fl. Bras. 4: 414-416 (1863).
- "TYPE: Peru, Maynas Alto, Tocaehe River, 1830, Poeppig s.n. (lecto F, iso GH, fide Stevenson & Sabato 1986)."
The specific epithet honours Eduard Friedrich Poeppig (1798-1868) a
German botanist, zoologist, and explorer from Leipzig who first
collected the species during an expedition to Brazil and Peru (1829-1832).
Zamia poeppigiana often grows in rich humus soils and on the
rotting trunks of fallen trees hence the reference to Z. parasitica
in Poeppig's field notes. There has been much confusion regarding
Z. lindenii and Z. poeppigiana. The descriptions and
type material for both names are identical and they are here
considered conspecific. This is supported by the fact that specimens
collected by André in Ecuador in 1885 (more than ten years
after he described Z. lindenii) bear labels in his handwriting
with the name Zamia lindenii André. These specimens
match the type specimen of Z. poeppigiana which has
nomenclatural priority. However, Calway Dodson (pers. com.) has
suggested that the seeds of Z. poeppigiana from Pacific
Ecuador (the region of the type and subsequent material collected
by Édouard André as Z. lindenii) are not
distinctly flattened as are those of Z. poeppigiana from the
eastern side of the Andes.
The long-lanceolate leaflets with perfectly parallel margins combined
with the falcate leaflet base and evenly spaced spreading marginal
teeth. In addition, leaflets in living plants bear the impression, in
the form of a slight to pronounced fold, of the adjacent leaflets as
a result of the imbricate pytxis and compression of emerging leaves.
Distribution and habitat:
Known from the coastal plains and foothills of the Cordillera Occidental
in Ecuador and rich humus soils of Acre, Brazil and Southwestern Colombia.
Zamia poeppigiana is widely but sporadically distributed. Local
populations exhibit good seed set and seedling establishment. Unlike
Z. obliqua, another trunk species, Z. poeppigiana
appears to produce seed cones when the stems are not yet arborescent
thus reducing the threat from habitat destruction. Not listed in the
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants.
|Photo Christopher Hardy
|Photo Timothy Plowman
Stem arborescent, to 4 m tall and 25 cm diam.
Cataphylls cuneate basally and acuminate apically, to 2 cm wide
and 4 cm long.
Leaves 10-15, 1-3 m long; petiole with numerous small prickles,
30-70 cm long; rachis with prickles in lower third, 20-40 pairs of leaflets.
Leaflets long-lanceolate, falcate basally, acuminate to acute
apically, margins strongly serrate in upper third with serrations at
nearly 90o and 0.5-1 cm apart, the median ones 15-40 cm long,
2-4 cm wide.
Polleniferous strobili cream to tan, long cylindric, 20-30 cm
long, 3-5 cm diam.; peduncle 5-8 cm long.
Microsporophylls with sterile tip composed of six steeply
inclined facets surrounding a centrally depressed terminal facet.
Ovulate strobili tan to brown, cylindrical to ovoid- cylindrical,
25-40 cm long, 10-15 cm diam.
Seeds red, oblong, distinctly flattened, 1-1.5 cm long, 0.5-0.8
2n = 16 (Moretti, unpubl. data from Caputo et al. Amer. J. Bot.
83: 1513-1520. 1996).