Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia boliviana

Zamia boliviana (Brongn.) A. DC., Prodr. 16(2): 540 (1868).

Etymology: Based upon its endemism in Bolivia.

Historical notes: Zamia boliviana was originally described as Ceratozamia boliviana by Brongniart most likely because he had no cones of the species at the time of his description. In fact, he himself questioned the assignment of this species to his newly described genus, Ceratozamia. Also, the material cited by Weddell as Z. brongniartii was thought to be from the Mato Grosso of Brazil but in actuality is from Bolivia (see also Sabato 1990).

Distinguishing features: This species is very similar in appearance to Caribbean species of Zamia, particularly Z. integrifolia and Z. portoricensis. It may be distinguished from these two species by its more or less sharp leaflet tips, strongly revolute leaflet margins, brown cones.

Distribution and habitat: Known only from a limited area of Bolivia where in grows in sandy well drained soils. It basically grows under conditions similar to those for Caribbean species of Zamia.

Conservation status: This species is so rarely collected that it is hard to assess. However, this leads one to think that it is very rare. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category R, II, R.
Photo Dennis Stevenson
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stems subterranean and tuberous, 3-10 cm in diameter.

Cataphylls from 1-2 cm long, sheathing at first, with a pair of inconspicuous stipules.

Leaves 2-5, 0.3-0.7 m long, smooth.

Rachis bearing 5-20 pairs of opposite to subopposite leaflets.

Leaflets linear lanceolate to lanceolate, 12-25 cm long and 0.5-1.5 cm wide, margin entire and strongly revolute (rarely with 2-10 indistinct teeth in the upper third, somewhat pungent apically.

Pollen cones usually solitary, cylindrical, slender, pedunculate, tan to brown, 0.5-1.5 cm long and 0.6-0.8 cm in diameter, peduncle 2-4 cm long.

Seed cones oblong, acuminate apically, pedunculate, brown, 12-15 cm long and 3-5 cm in diameter, peduncle 8-10 cm long.

Seeds with a red to orange-red sarcotesta, ovoid, 1-2 cm long.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
This site is currently not being maintained