The Cycad Pages
GENUS  Lepidozamia
K.D. Hill

Lepidozamia Regel, Bull. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 1: 182 (1857); from the Greek lepidos a scale and Zamia a cycad.
Type: L. peroffskyana Regel
Catakidozamia W. Hill, in Hook., Gard. Chron. Nov. 1865:1107 (1865). Type: C. hopei W. Hill

An endemic genus in eastern Australia, with two species. Closely allied to the two large southern or Gondwanan cycad genera in the family Zamiaceae, Macrozamia also from Australia, and Encephalartos from Africa.
Individual species pages will have photographs, distribution maps, descriptions, literature references and general notes on the species. These are not yet all in place for all species, but the database is slowly growing. On species pages, click on thumbnail images to see full-screen images. links to images of the protologue or original description pertaining to the name.
Broadest pinnae 17-30 mm wide, with 17-30 parallel veins -- Lepidozamia hopei
Broadest pinnae 7-14 mm wide, with 7-14 parallel veins -- Lepidozamia peroffskyana

Distinguishing characters:

  • Leaves pinnate
  • Leaflets lacking a midrib
  • leaflets not articulated
  • Leaflets inserted along upper midline of rachis
  • Sporophylls not in vertical rows in cones
  • Megasporophyll apices flattened and deflexed


Habit: dioecious palmlike shrubs with erect, aerial, cylindrical stems, with many leaves. Leaf-bases shedding or persistent. New leaves emerging in flushes.

Leaves: pinnate, spirally arranged, interspersed with cataphylls, lower leaflets not reduced to spines. Petiole spine-free. Rachis not twisted. Longitudinal ptyxis erect, horizontal ptyxis erect. Leaflets simple, with numerous parallel veins and no distinct midrib, leaflets inserted along the adaxial midline of the rhachis; leaflets lacking a distinct basal callosity; epidermal cells elongated obliquely or transversely to long axes of leaflets. Leaves pubescent, at least when young, with branched or simple transparent trichomes.

Microsporophylls: spirally aggregated into determinate, sessile male cones and each with a simple sterile apex, with a deflexed broadly triangular termination. Each microsporophyll bearing numerous microsporangia (pollen-sacs) on its abaxial surfaces. Microsporangia opening by slits. Pollen cymbiform, monosulcate.

Megasporophylls: spirally aggregated into determinate, sessile female cones. Sporophylls simple, appearing peltate with a simple dilated apex or lamina with a deflexed broadly triangular apical termination. Ovules two (rarely three), sessile, orthotropous, inserted on the inner (axisfacing) surface of the thickened lamina and directed inwards ("inverted").

Seeds: subglobular to oblong or ellipsoidal, with a red outer sarcotesta. Endosperm haploid, derived from the female gametophyte. Embryo straight; with 2 cotyledons that are usually united at the tips and a very long, spirally twisted suspensor. Seeds radiospermic; germination cryptocotular.

The Cycad Pages

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