|Photo Dennis Stevenson
|The Cycad Pages
- Zamia vazquezii "D.W. Stev., Sabato, A. Moretti & De Luca", Delpinoa n.s. 37-38: 9-17 (dated 1995) (1998).
- "TYPE: Mexico. Veracruz: 22 Jan 1989, M. Vazquez-Torres et al. 1119 (holo NY; iso FTG, MO, NY, U, XALU)."
The species is named for Mario Vazquez Torres outstanding Mexican botanist
and astute student of Central American cycads who first discovered the
In recent times, Z. vazquezii has been confused with
Z. fischeri which was described in 1845. Sometime after
1932, plants from Veracruz, Mexico were introduced into cultivation
under the name Zamia fischeri but these plants are clearly
different from the original specimens. Consequently,
Z. vazquezii was segregated from what was commonly
thought to be Z. fischeri. It should be pointed out
that such confusions occur as a result of the failure to
examine type specimens and original illustrations and as
a result misapplied names become entrenched although incorrect.
The salient and most easily seen differences between Z. fischeri
and Z. vazquezii are in leaf and leaflet features. Leaves
of Z. vazquezii are more numerous (i.e., more than 6), are
longer in being greater than 30 cm, are erect, and have more than
12 pairs of leaflets as compared to those of Z. fischeri
which number less than six, are less than 30 cm long, are reflexed,
and have less than 12 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets of
Z. vazquezii are ovate to obpyriform in shape with
attenuate to acuminate apices and reminiscent of the fern
genera Cyrtomium or species of Adiantum in
contrast to those of Z. fischeri that are lanceolate
with acute apices. In addition petioles of Z. vazquezii
often have minute prickles whereas those of Z. fischeri
are always smooth. Additionally, Z. vazquezii is 2n = 18
and Z. fischeri is 2n = 16.
Distribution and habitat:
Zamia vazquezii is known only from two small populations
in northern Veracruz, Mexico where in grows in semi-evergreen
forests to pine-oak forests.
Although cones and seeds are readily produced, the species is
severely threatened in habitat. However, wild populations are
somewhat protected from overcollection because the species is
very common in cultivation where it also produces copious quantities
of cones and grows quite rapidly from seed. Not yet listed in the
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants.
|Photo Dennis Stevenson
Stem subterranean, subglobose, to 10 cm diam.
Cataphylls ovate, 1-1.5 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide.
Leaves 3-30, 0.3-1 m long; petiole 15-40 cm long,
smooth to sparsely prickled; rachis with 12-25 (30) pairs of
Leaflets ovate to obpyriform, cuneate basally, acuminate
apically, margins with numerous serrations in the upper two-thirds,
the larger median leaflets 6-7 (8) cm long, 3-4 cm wide.
Pollen cones tan, ovoid to ovoid-cylindrical, 5-7 (8) cm
long, 2-2.5 cm diam.; peduncle 1.5-2.5 cm long.
Microsporophylls with sterile tip composed of six slightly
inclined facets surrounding a small, centrally depressed terminal
facet, sporangia present on abaxial surface only.
Seed cones tan to brown, cylindrical to ovoid-cylindrical,
10-15 cm long, 5-7 cm diam.
Seeds orange-red to red, 1.3-1.8 cm long, 0.5-0.8 cm diam.
2n = 18.