Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia pseudomonticola

Zamia pseudomonticola L.D. Gómez, Phytologia 50(6): 401-404 (1982).
"TYPE: Costa Rica, Sitio Coton, SW slopes of Cerro Pando, Gomez s.n. (holo BM)."

Cynthia Armstrong 1999

Etymology: In reference to its presumed similarity to Zamia monticola.

Historical notes: Slightly before and following the publication of Zamia pseudomonticola and Zamia fairchildiana the identity of the two species has been confused as discussed under the latter. The drawings of the leaflets presented here should clarify the confusion.

Distinguishing features: Zamia pseudomonticola has been confused with Z. fairchildiana. Zamia pseudomonticola has entire margined, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, leaflets with long acuminate apices, no prickles on the petiole and rachis, and smaller (20 cm long) ovulate strobili in contrast to the serrulate margined oblong, leaflets with acute apices, prickled petiole and rachis, and much larger (30 cm long) ovulate strobili. Zamia pseudomonticola appears to be most similar to Z. acuminata. Both of the species have entire margined leaflets with abrupt long acuminate apices. However, Z. acuminata has some prickles on the petiole in contrast to the smooth petioles of Z. pseudomonticola. In addition, Z. pseudomonticola is in all aspects a much bigger plant than Z. acuminata and is clearly arborescent.

Distribution and habitat: Endemic to Southwestern Costa Rica where it occurs on somewhat acidic soils in the understory of cloud forests from 1000-1300m.

Conservation: Little is known about population number or size. Based upon the number of collections, Z. pseudomonticola would appear to a very narrow endemic that is known only from the are of the type locality. Fairly common in cultivation at botanical gardens as a result of introduction of plants in the early 1980's. Seems to cone periodically in cultivation. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category V,II,R.
Photo Muriel Weinerman
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stem arborescent, to 1 m tall, 5-10 cm diam.

Leaves 3-10, O.7-1.5 m long; petiole without prickles, 0.3-0.5 m long; rachis without prickles; 8-15 pairs of leaflets.

Leaflets elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 4-6 cm wide, margins entire, abruptly long acuminate apically. seed cones 12-20 cm long.

Pollen cones cream to tan, cylindrical, 12-15 (20) cm long, 2-4 cm diam.

Seed cones yellow-green to green, cylindrical 12-20 cm long, 4-8 cm diam.

Seeds red, ovoid, 1.2-1.8 cm long.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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