from Schutzman & Vovides (1988) fig. 1
The Cycad Pages
Zamia lacandona

Zamia lacandona B. Schutzman & Vovides, "Novon 8(4): 441-446, figs 1-3" (1998).
"TYPE: Mexico, Chiapas, Selva Lacandona, Schutzman 517 (holo FLAS, iso XAL)."

Photo Ken Hill

Etymology: The species is named for the Lacandona rainforest of Eastern Chiapas, which is in turn named for the Lacandona Indians of Mayan descent.

Distinguishing features: Zamia lacandona is most similar to Z. cremnophila, Z. standleyi, and Z. verschaffeltii (= Z. splendens Schutzman and Z. katzeriana (Regel)Rettig). It differs from the latter in having curved leaflets and from the former two in having slightly but clearly obovate leaflets.

Distribution and habitat: Endemic in Eastern Chiapas, Mexico where it grows in primary tropical evergreen forest and also in disturbed areas of slash and burn agriculture. It regenerates after clearing and burning along roadsides and garden margins.

Conservation status: Apparently not threatened by local habitat destruction. Not yet listed by the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants.
Photo Ken Hill


Stem subterranean and tuberous, 4-8 cm diam.

Cataphylls of two forms, either elongate triangular, 2.8-6.3 cm long and .4-1.2 cm wide; or triangular basally and aristate apically, 7-10 cm long and 2-3 cm wide.

Leaves 1-2, reddish to purplish-brown when young becoming green with age, recurved, ovate, 0.3-1 m long; petiole terete, to 20-70 cm long, armed with prickles in lower 3/4; rachis terete, unarmed, to 30 cm long, 7-12 pairs of leaflets.

Leaflets chartaceous to subcoriaceous, linear-lanceolate to slightly obovate, subfalcate upwardly, acuminate apically, margins denticulate in upper half, the median ones 13-42 cm long, 1.5-6 cm wide.

Pollen cones 2-6, decumbent, cylindrical to ovoid, light brown to dark beige, 6.5-7.5 cm long, 1.8-2.5 cm in diameter, apiculate apically; peduncle 10-12 cm long.

Seed cones cylindrical, brown, 12-14 cm long, 6-7 cm in diameter, apiculate apically; peduncle 10-11 cm long.

Seeds red, angular, 1.6-1.8 cm long, 1.4-1.6 cm in diameter.

2n = 16, 17, & 18.

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