Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Cycas lindstromii

Cycas lindstromii "S.L. Yang, K.D. Hill & T.H. Nguyen", "Novon 7: 213-215, fig. 1" (1997). H—FTG
"TYPE: Vietnam, Binh Thuan, Tuy Phong, Xa Chi Cong, near Doc Bao Da, 11°13'N 108°38'E, alt. 25 m, S.-L. Yang 557, 11 Nov 1994 (holo FTG, iso NSW, S)."[NSW][NSW]

Etymology: The epithet honours Anders Lindström, a cycad enthusiast from Stockholm, Sweden, and presently (2002) curator of cycads at the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Thailand, who assisted in the initial discovery of this species.

Illustrations: Yang et al. 1997, fig. 1.

Historical notes: Discovered only in 1994, this remarkable species was not described until 1997.

Distinguishing features: C. lindstromii is distinguished by its wholly subterranean and frequently branched trunk, its short, keeled leaves with basal leaflets not progressively reducing to spines, its small, slender male cones, and its relatively narrow and elongated megasporophyll lamina. Although remarkably different from other members of the C. pectinata group, the differences are mainly autapomorphic, and it is clearly placed in that group by the fibrous sarcotesta.

A true dwarf cycad, this species resembles more in overall habit a Florida Zamia than a typical member of the genus Cycas.

Distribution and habitat: this species occurs in grassland and mixed dry open dipterocarp forest or woodland on flat sites at low elevations and near the coast along the east coast of southern Vietnam. Soil is deep and sandy, a combination of outwash from siliceous granite hills and beach dune sands.

Conservation status: Local residents in this area have been extensively collecting wild plants for sale as garden and landscape subjects. This species is consequently regarded as an endangered species, under threat of extinction should this practise continue. IUCN (1994) Red List status VU A2c.
Photo Ken Hill
Photo Ken Hill


Stems acaulescent, 5-8 cm diam. at narrowest point; 6-25 leaves in crown.

Leaves bright green (yellowish green beneath), highly glossy, 40-100 cm long, moderately keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 90-130° on rachis), with 50-140 leaflets, with brown tomentum shedding as leaf expands; rachis consistently terminated by paired leaflets. Petiole 15-35 cm long (25-40% of total leaf), petiole glabrous, spinescent for 50-100% of length. Basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines, 35-120 mm long.

Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 100-170 mm long, 7-11 mm wide, inserted at 45-60° to rachis, decurrent for 3-5 mm, narrowed to 2-3 mm at base (to 20-35% of maximum width), 7-13 mm apart on rachis; median leaflets section flat; margins flat; apex acute, not spinescent; midrib raised above, raised below.

Cataphylls linear, soft, pilose, 20-50 mm long (3-7 mm wide at base), persistent.

Pollen cones fusiform, yellow, 12-20 cm long, 4-5 cm diam.; microsporophyll lamina firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, 10-16 mm long, 8-15 mm wide, fertile zone 7-12 mm long, sterile apex 3-4 mm long, level, apical spine rudimentary, sharply upturned, 2-8 mm long.

Megasporophylls 8-17 cm long, grey-tomentose; ovules 2-4, glabrous; lamina ovate, 50-100 mm long, 15-30 mm wide, deeply pectinate, with 8-26 soft lateral spines 8-15 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide, apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 10-30 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide at base.

Seeds ovoid, 29-37 mm long, 20-33 mm wide; sarcotesta orange, not pruinose, 3.5-4 mm thick; fibrous layer present; sclerotesta smooth. Spongy endocarp absent.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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