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Genus Macrozamia Family Zamiaceae

Description: More or less palm-like dioecious plants with a usually unbranched stem forming a rather massive aerial trunk often >50 cm diam., or stem mainly subterranean, covered by the persistent leaf bases; all parts ± pubescent when young, glabrescent with age.

Leaves few to numerous, simply pinnate but the pinnae sometimes dichotomously divided, the rachis straight or twisted; base of the petiole swollen, usually silky or tomentose. Pinnae numerous in mature plants, spreading or turned to one side, inserted near the edges of the rachis towards the upper side. Cones axillary, pedunculate; sporophylls terminated by upturned spines; spines usually largest towards apex of cone.

Male cones ± cylindrical, often curved when old. Female cones ± ovoid, inner parts often bright pink; sporophylls with 2 ovules; sporophylls fall with attached seeds when ripe

seed with an outer fleshy brightly-coloured layer.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 40 species, endemic Australia. Australia: Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A., subtropical & warm-temp. areas.

Note: juvenile plants may differ considerably from the adult forms in details of the leaves; in particular the pinnae are usually toothed at the ends and the petioles are long and slender. Key abstracted from Johnson (1961).

Text by L. Murray
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Macrozamia sp. Acacia Creek (Forest Office 393/10)

 Key to the species 
1Large plants with 15–50 leaves in the crown, veins visible but thin and not or scarcely raised on the lower surface when dry, mucilage canals present in pinnae, lower pinnae reduced to spines2
Small plants with 2–12 leaves (rarely up to 40 in Macrozamia lucida), veins thick and prominent on the lower surface, especially when dry, mucilage canals not present in pinnae, lower pinnae not reduced to spines7
2Pinnae with stomates on both surfaces (amphistomatic)Macrozamia johnsonii
Pinnae with stomates on lower surface only (hypostomatic)
                       Back to 1
3Pinnae not dichotomously divided4
At least some pinnae dichotomously divided
                       Back to 2
Macrozamia diplomera
4Pinnae thin, upper surface glossy; spines of female sporophylls slender 2–5 mm wide at baseMacrozamia miquelii
Pinnae thick, upper surface dull to semiglossy; spines of female sporophylls broad, over 5 mm wide at base
                       Back to 3
5Plants large, leaves >150 cm long, seeds >35 mm long6
Plants small, leaves <150 cm long, seeds <30 mm long
                       Back to 4
Macrozamia reducta
6Petioles spine-free for at least 15 cmMacrozamia communis
Petioles spinescent almost to base
                       Back to 5
Macrozamia montana
7Rachis not twisted or moderately twisted, if >360°, then petiole 20–40 cm long or pinnae divided8
Rachis strongly spirally twisted, if <360° then pinnae entire or petiole 5–15 cm long
                       Back to 1
8Pinnae simple9
Pinnae dichotomously divided one or more times
                       Back to 7
9Pinnae spreading, petiole round or flat above10
Pinnae secund, petiole concave above
                       Back to 8
Macrozamia secunda
10Pinnae glossy, whitish at baseMacrozamia lucida
Pinnae dull, pinkish to red or orange at base
                       Back to 9
11Leaves 35–100 cm long, pinnae 5–9 mm wide, not pungentMacrozamia spiralis
Leaves 90–150 cm long, pinnae 9–14 mm wide, pungent
                       Back to 10
Macrozamia elegans
12Pinnae with stomates on one surface only13
Pinnae with stomates on both surfaces
                       Back to 8
Macrozamia stenomera
13Leaves blue to grey-greenMacrozamia glaucophylla
Leaves green, or rarely grey-green
                       Back to 12
14Pinnae concolorous to weakly discolorous15
Pinnae distinctly discolorous
                       Back to 13
Macrozamia humilis
15Pinnae >5 mm wideMacrozamia polymorpha
Pinnae <5 mm wide
                       Back to 14
Macrozamia heteromera
16Broadest pinnae <10 mm wide, usually with a single apical tooth17
Broadest pinnae >10 mm wide, 2–7-toothed apically
                       Back to 7
Macrozamia fawcettii
17Leaflets green on lower surfaceMacrozamia flexuosa
Leaflets grey or glaucous on lower surface, most noticeably in new growth
                       Back to 16
18Petioles ± tereteMacrozamia concinna
Petioles strongly flattened
                       Back to 17
Macrozamia plurinervia

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