Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia manicata

Zamia manicata Linden ex Regel, Trudy Imp. S.-Petersburgsk. Bot. Sada 4: 310 (1876).
"TYPE: the illustration: E. Regel, Gartenflora 27: t. 926, fig. e, 1878 (neo, fide Stevenson & Sabato 1986)."

Photo Dennis Stevenson

Etymology: In reference to the gland like collar at the base of the leaflet.

Historical notes: Somehow Schuster (1932), confused Z. manicata with Z. obliqua and placed the former in synonymy with the latter. Schuster's description is a mixture of the two species. However, Braun (1875), described Z. obliqua with sessile elliptic to ovate-elliptic ("obelliptic") leaflets and trunks to 2.5 m and never mentioned petiolules or gland-like collars because these characters do not occur in Z. obliqua. In fact, Schuster's concept of Z. obliqua was a plant with the trunks and strobili of Z. obliqua and the leaves of Z. manicata. Moreover, he described the petioles as unarmed when in fact anyone who has collected either of these species can attest to the numerous prickles. In contrast, Gomez's 1982a, 1982b), concept of Z. obliqua is in fact that of Z. manicata. Because of the confusion instigated by Schuster (1932), Schultes (1958), redescribed Z. manicata as Z. madida and the description of Z. obliqua by Gomez (1982b) is that of Z. manicata with both Z. manicata and Z. madida listed in synonymy.

Distinguishing features: The petiolule and gland-like collar occur among cycads only in Z. manicata. However, they are distinct only in adult leaves and are not present in seedling leaves and only diminutively so in juvenile leaves. Also, in transplanted adult plants these structures may not be produced in the first set of leaves after transplanting.

Distribution and habitat: Zamia manicata occurs in rainforest and secondary forest from 100 m to 1000 m in the Darien of Panama and contiguous Colombia.

Conservation: 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category R,II,V for Colombia and R,II,R for Panama.
Photo Dennis Stevenson
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stem subterranean, globose to subcylindric, 5-10 cm diam.

Cataphylls triangular basally, long acuminate apically, 3-8 cm long, 1-2 cm wide.

Leaves 3-10, 0.5-2 m long; petiole 0.2-1 m long, slightly to densely prickled; rachis often with prickles in lower third, with 10-30 pairs of leaflets.

Leaflets with distinct petiolule and abaxial gland-like collar at the juncture of the lamina, oblong to long-elliptic, margins serrate in upper third, cuneate basally, acute to acuminate apically, the larger median ones 15- 35 cm long, 3-7 cm wide.

Pollen cones cream to tan, cylindrical, 4-6 cm long, 1-1.5 cm diam.; peduncle 15-30 cm long.

Ovulate strobili wine-red to dark red-brown, cylindrical to ovoid- cylindrical, 10-15 cm long, 4-7 cm diam.

Seeds red, 1-1.5 cm long, 0.5-0.8 cm diam.

2n = 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
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