Photo Muriel Weinerman
The Cycad Pages
Zamia inermis

Zamia inermis "Vovides, J.D. Rees & Vázq. Torres", Flora de Veracruz 26: 22-24 (1983).
"TYPE: Mexico, Veracruz, 6 Jun 1981, Vovides 666 (holo XAL, iso F)."

Etymology: In reference to the absence of prickles on the petiole and rachis of the leaf.

Historical notes:

Distinguishing features: The numerous stiffly erect leaves forming a funnel pattern with smooth petioles and coriaceous entire pungent tipped leaflets. The seeds are brown at maturity in contrast to the pink to red to orange red seeds of other terrestrial species of Zamia.

Distribution and habitat: Endemic to central Veracruz, Mexico where it grows in deciduous forest on steep slopes in low mountains at 200-300 m on dry volcanic soils .

Conservation status: Zamia inermis is known from only a single extant population that is severely threatened by fire, over collection, and apparently eradication of its pollinator as evidenced by its very low fertility in habitat as opposed to its high fertility in cultivation in botanical gardens. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category V,II,E.
Photo Muriel Weinerman


Stem hypogeous when young becoming epigeous and up to 30 cm tall when mature, 10-25 cm in diam., succulent, often dichotomously branched.

Cataphylls triangular-lanceolate, 4-6 cm long and 1-1.5 cm wide.

Leaves 10-25, stiffly erect, 0.3-1 m long; petiole 8-25 cm long, smooth; rachis smooth with 12-20 pairs of leaflets.

Leaflets linear-lanceolate, attenuate basally, acute and pungent apically, strongly to extremely coriaceous, often adaxially concave, margins entire, the larger median ones 20-30 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide.

Pollen cones 1-6, tan to light brown, cylindrical to ovoid-cylindrical, acute apically, 8-18 cm long, 2.5-3 cm diam.; peduncle 3-6 cm long, 1 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-3, tan to light brown, cylindrical, acute to blunt apically, tomentose when young becoming more or less glabrous at maturity, 12-20 cm long, 8-10 cm diam.; peduncle 3-5 cm long, 2-2.5 cm diam.

Seeds green when young, brown when mature, ovoid, 1.5-2 cm long, 1-1.5 diam.

2n = 16.

The Cycad Pages

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