Monday, 2 March 2009

Cycad in Palm Collection

Large cycad growing amongst palm collection at Monserrate.
Provisional ID : Lepidozamia peroffskyana
Would welcome comments with confirmation or pointing-out error. Click on pictures for larger images.

General view of Cycad - wrongly labelled as Dioon

leaflets inserted on upper midline of rachis
leaflets without midrib

Decayed cone (male?)

Detailed view of decayed cone.


Anonymous said...

Hello,Gerald. Definitely Lepidozamia peroffskyana, known as the Shining Burrawang (the genus Macrozamia are the "non-shining" Burrawangs) for its glossy leaflets.

I had wondered whether there would be a specimen in Monserrate's collection,given the suite of Antipodean curiosities already accounted for! My favourite Aussie cycad: it's unarmed! Grows along the east coast of Aus. from about 250km north of Sydney,to about 200km north of Brisbane. Seems to prefer the ecotone between wet sclerophyll (moist eucalypt) and littoral and sub-tropical rainforest...shady but not too dark,with the occasional low intensity bushfire.Any parent rock for soil,as long as it's well-drained, and rainfall over 1200-1500mm. It has a taller-growing and broader-leafleted relative,L.hopei,in NE Queensland.

Very slow growing,usually one whorl of leaves annually, so yours is definitely well over a century old...possibly imported when already trunked? Ripe seed has a brilliant orange-red flesh. The spongy leaf bases usually support ferns and orchids. Branching is uncommon..perhaps a response to cold damage? Or sheer male loneliness!

Gerald Luckhurst said...

Thanks for that. Did you see the other Cycad - Palace Lawn. Same species, but not sure if it is also male. I have documentary evidence that this cycad has been at Monserrate since the 1860's.

There are more cycads at Monserrate but I think that they are Encephalartos, and Cycas of course.

How are you on Sapindaceae? Have a very tricky tree to ID.


Anonymous said...

I have good resources for Australian Sapindaceae; worked with them a lot in domestic and regeneration projects..but its a big family globally ,of course. Post some photos?