Cycas

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Cycas
Cycas inflorescence.jpg
Leaves and male cone of Cycas revoluta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Cycadophyta
Class: Cycadopsida
Order: Cycadales
Family: Cycadaceae
Pers.[1]
Genus: Cycas
L.[2]
Type species
C. circinalis[2]
L.[2]
Synonyms[3]
  • Todda-pana Adans.
  • Dyerocycas Nakai
  • Epicycas de Laub.

Cycas is the type genus and the only genus recognised in the family Cycadaceae. About 95 species are accepted. Cycas circinalis, a species endemic to India was the first cycad species to be described and was the type of the generic name, Cycas. The best-known Cycas species is Cycas revoluta, widely cultivated under the name "sago palm" due to its palm-like appearance, although it is not a true palm.

The genus is native to the Old World, with the species concentrated around the equatorial regions - eastern and southeastern Asia including the Philippines with 10 species (9 of which are endemic), eastern Africa (including Madagascar), northern Australia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Australia has 26 species, while the Indo-Chinese area has about 30. India has 9 species. The northernmost species (C. revoluta) is found at 31°N in southern Japan. The southernmost (C. megacarpa) is found at 26°S in southeast Queensland. Due to the occurrence of large number of Cycas species in China and Australia, both the countries are considered as two centres of diversity of Cycas.[3]

Bark of Cycas rumphii

The plants are dioecious, and the family Cycadaceae is unique among the cycads in not forming seed cones on female plants, but rather a group of leaf-like structures called megasporophylls each with seeds on the lower margins, and pollen cones or strobilus on male individuals.

Female fruiting structures of C. ophiolitica

The caudex is cylindrical, surrounded by the persistent petiole base. Most species form distinct branched or unbranched trunks but in some species the main trunk can be subterranean with the leaf crown appearing to arise directly from the ground. There are two types of leaves-foliage leaves and scaly leaves. The foliage leaves are pinnate (or more rarely bipinnate) and arranged spirally, with thick and hard keratinose. They are not permanent and fall off leaving back leaf-bases. The leaflets are articulated, have midrib but lack secondary veins. The scaly leaves are persistent, brown in colour and protective in function. Megasporophylls are not gathered in cones.Pollination takes place by air.

Often considered a living fossil, the earliest fossils of the genus Cycas appear in the Cenozoic although Cycas-like fossils that may belong to Cycadaceae extend well into the Mesozoic. Cycas is not closely related to other genera of cycads, and phylogenetic studies have shown that Cycadaceae is the sister-group to all other extant cycads.

The plant takes several years to grow, sexual reproduction takes place after 10 years of exclusive vegetative growth which occurs by bulbils arising at the base of the trunk.

A male cone of Cycas circinalis

Cycas species are threatened worldwide and almost all the species are listed in IUCN Redlist. Cycas beddomei is the only species of the genus Cycas listed in Appendix I of CITES. Cycas rumphii and Cycas pectinata have the most widespread distribution.

Selected species[edit]

Cycas aculeata
Cycas angulata
Cycas annaikalensis
Cycas apoa
Cycas arenicola
Cycas armstrongii
Cycas arnhemica
Cycas badensis
Cycas balansae
Cycas basaltica
Cycas beddomei
Cycas bifida
Cycas bougainvilleana
Cycas brachycantha
Cycas brunnea
Cycas cairnsiana
Cycas calcicola
Cycas campestris
Cycas candida
Cycas canalis
Cycas chamaoensis
Cycas changjiangensis
Cycas chevalieri
Cycas circinalis
Cycas clivicola
Cycas collina
Cycas condaoensis
Cycas conferta
Cycas couttsiana
Cycas curranii
Cycas debaoensis
Cycas desolata
Cycas diannanensis

 

Cycas dolichophylla
Cycas edentata
Cycas elephantipes
Cycas elongata
Cycas falcata
Cycas fairylakea
Cycas ferruginea
Cycas fugax
Cycas furfuracea
Cycas guizhouensis
Cycas hainanensis
Cycas hoabinhensis
Cycas hongheensis
Cycas inermis
Cycas javana
Cycas lanepoolei
Cycas lindstromii
Cycas litoralis
Cycas maconochiei
Cycas macrocarpa
Cycas media
Cycas megacarpa
Cycas micholitzii
Cycas micronesica
Cycas multipinnata
Cycas nathorstii
Cycas nongnoochiae
Cycas ophiolitica
Cycas orientis
Cycas pachypoda
Cycas panzhihuaensis
Cycas papuana
 

 

Cycas pectinata
Cycas petraea
Cycas platyphylla
Cycas pranburiensis
Cycas pruinosa
Cycas revoluta
Cycas riuminiana
Cycas rumphii Miq.
Cycas schumanniana
Cycas scratchleyana
Cycas seemannii A.Braun
Cycas segmentifida
Cycas semota
Cycas sexseminifera
Cycas siamensis
Cycas silvestris
Cycas simplicipinna
Cycas sphaerica
Cycas szechuanensis
Cycas taitungensis
Cycas taiwaniana
Cycas tanqingii
Cycas tansachana
Cycas thouarsii
Cycas tropophylla
Cycas tuckeri
Cycas wadei
Cycas xipholepis
Cycas yorkiana
Cycas yunnanensis
Cycas zambalensis
Cycas zeylanica
 

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Kramer, K.U.; (illustrations), P.S. Green ; assisted by E. Götz (1990). Kramer, K.U.; Green, P.S, ed. Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p. 370. ISBN 978-3-540-51794-8. 
  2. ^ a b c Hill, Ken; Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson. "The Cycad Pages". Genus Cycas. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families