|Photo Russell Adams
|The Cycad Pages
- Zamia skinneri Warsz. ex A. Dietrich, "Allg. Gartenzeitung 19: 146, fig. s.n." (1851).
- TYPE: the illustration: fig. s.n.
|Photo Russell Adams
Named for George Skinner a plant collector who worked mainly in Central
Zamia skinneri would appear to part of a complex composed of
Z. dressleri in Panama; Z. neurophyllidia in Panama, Costa
Rica, and Nicaragua; Z. amplifolia and Z. roezlii Linden
in the Choco of Colombia and adjacent Ecuador; and Z. wallisii
in Northern Antioquia, Colombia. This grouping is based upon the common
occurrence of the plicate appearance of the leaflets of these species.
This character and simultaneous rather than sequential leaf
to erect the segregate genus
Aulacophyllum. However, no other synapomorphies have been
found to support Aulacophyllum as a genus
Moreover, the distinction between simultaneous and sequential leaf
production in Zamia seems problematic at best.
Zamia skinneri is the largest Central American Zamia
and is unmistakable with its massive trunk, leaves, and strobili. It is
closest in overall morphology to Z. neurophyllidia. Zamia
skinneri has very large leaves with 4-8 (10) pairs of large leaflets
that are from 12-18 cm wide and 30-50 cm long. In contrast, Z.
neurophyllidia has smaller leaves with up to 12 pairs of leaflets
that are 5-10 cm wide and 20-35 cm long. Generally the leaflet margins
of Z. neurophyllidia have from 10-12 prominent teeth along
the margin whereas the leaflet margins of Z. skinneri have
diminutive teeth located in the upper third of the margin.
Distribution and habitat:
Zamia skinneri occurs in primary rainforest from
northern to central Atlantic Panama at elevations from 50-750 m.
It grows as an understory plant in primary rainforest to the
lower limits of cloud forest.
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
|Photo Dennis Stevenson
Stem arborescent, to 2.5 m tall.
Leaves 3-6, 1-2 m long; petiole 0.5-1 m long, sparsely to
densely prickled; rachis with 6-8 (10) pairs of leaflets, occasionally
with a few prickles in the lower third.
Leaflets elliptic, grooved between the veins on the adaxial
surface, cuneate basally, acuminate apically, margins serrate in
upper third, the median ones 30-50 cm long, 12-18 cm wide.
Pollen cones cream to tan becoming reddish with age,
cylindrical to elongate-cylindrical, 8-12 cm long, 1-2 cm diam.
Seed cones brown, short pedunculate, cylindrical to ovoid
cylindrical, 20-40 (50) cm long, 8-12 cm diam.
Seeds red, ovoid, 1.5-2.5 cm diam.
2n = 22.