Photo Anders Lindstrom
The Cycad Pages
Cycas sundaica

Cycas sundaica Miq. ex A. Lindtsr. & K.D. Hill , "Telopea 12(3):408–410, fig. 6. " (2009). H—BO
"TYPE: Flores, Ngada province, foot of Volcano Inerie, along the Eku Ture river, near Bidhu village, 326 m ASL, Lindstrom 255, 29 Apr 2000 (holo BO, iso UBC)."

Etymology: From the habitat, entirely within the Sunda Island group.

Historical notes: C. sundaica was a name used by Miquel on a herbarium sheet in Utrecht. Schuster (1932) listed Miquel’s name in synonomy under C. rumphii, although Miquel never published the name.

Distinguishing features: the distinct lateral spines on the megasporophyll lamina distinguish this taxon from the nearby and related C. rumphii and C. edentata. Leaflets are also on average narrower.

Distribution and habitat: Nusa Tenggara Timur only, on Sumbawa, Komodo, Rinca, and Flores, east to Alor, in near-coastal and lowland forests.

Conservation status: Locally abundant and known to occur in reserved areas set aside for the conservation of the Komodo Dragon, this species is not considered to be at immediate risk. IUCN (2001) Red List status LC.
Photo Anders Lindstrom


Stems arborescent, to 5 m tall.

Leaves bright green or deep green, 120–275 cm long, flat in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis), with 75–114 leaflets, with orange to greyish tomentum shedding as leaf expands; rachis usually terminated by a spine to 13 mm long; petiole 30–67 cm long (20–40% of total leaf), spinescent for 10–100% of length; basal leaflets not gradually reducing to spines.

Median leaflets simple, strongly discolorous, 230–340 mm long, 9–15 mm wide, narrowed to 3–5 mm at base (25–50% of maximum width), 13–23 mm apart on rachis; section flat; margins slightly recurved; apex spinescent; midrib flat above, raised below. Cataphylls linear, pungent, to 10 cm long.

Cataphylls linear, pungent, to 10 cm long.

Pollen cones ovoid, c. 16–30 cm long, 9–15 cm wide; microsporophylls firm, not dorsiventrally thickened, 30–55 mm long, 15–29 mm wide, fertile zone 22–45 mm long, sterile apex 6–10 mm long, apical spine abruptly raised, 12–20 mm long.

Megasporophylls 30–42 cm long, tomentum persistent; ovules 2–8, glabrous; lamina lanceolate, 30–80 mm long, 20–43 mm wide, shallowly pectinate or regularly dentate, with 4–30 pungent lateral spines 1–12 mm long, 1–1.5 mm wide; apical spine distinct from lateral spines, 30–50 cm long, 3–7 mm wide at base.

Seeds ovoid, 45–55 mm long, 35–45 cm wide, sarcotesta orange, c. 8 mm thick, fibrous layer absent; sclerotesta smooth; spongy endotesta present.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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