Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia herrerae

Zamia herrerae Calderón & Standl., "Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci. 14(4): 93-99, fig. 1" (1924).
"TYPE: Salvador, vicinity of Sonsonate, 17 Jul 1923, S. Calderon 1682 (holo US)."

Etymology: Named in honor of Héctor Herrera an El Salvadorian scientist.

Historical notes:

Distinguishing features: Marginal teeth of the leaflets distant and well developed. Leaflets are most similar to Z. standleyi but the cones, in particular the seed cones, are quite different from Z. standleyi and those of Z. herrerae lack the apical "hook" of the former.

Distribution and habitat: Known from El Salvador and more recently Honduras, Guatemala and neighboring Chiapas, Mexico and Nicaragua. Zamia herrerae grows in primary and secondary forest from 200-800 m and does best as an understory plant in pine-oak forest and well drained sites in cloud forest and mesic situations.

Conservation status: Not well known from the wild or in cultivation most likely because the areas it is from have not been well collected botanically. However, given recent botanical activities in these areas and the paucity of collections of Z. herrerae would indicate that it is quite rare and thus easily endangered in the wild. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category R,II,E.


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 2-6, 0.5-1.5 m long; petiole 0.2- 0.7 m long, sparsely prickled; rachis bearing 10-30 pairs of leaflets, sparsley prickled.

Leaflets linear lanceolate, margin toothed in upper half with teeth widely spaced, attenuate basally, acute apically, median ones 12-25 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide,

Pollen cones 1-3, 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, acute apically, pedunculate, brown, 12-15 cm long and 3-5 cm in diameter, peduncle 8-10 cm long.

Seeds with a red, 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
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