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Species profile—Macrozamia longispina


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → ZamiaceaeMacrozamia longispina

Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Macrozamia longispina P.I.Forst. & D.L.Jones
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
Gymnosperm, two sheets plus carpological
Macrozamia longispina is a cycad with an underground stem 20-30cm diameter, rarely visible above ground (up to 30cm). It has 6-20 obliquely spreading and pendulous leaves extending from the crown. The leaves are bright green, semi- to highly-glossy, 100-150cm long and with 100-140 leaflets, and flat (not keeled) in cross section. The petiole (leaf stalk) is 40-50cm long, straight and unarmed, with grey-brown wool at base. The leaflets are arranged on a straight (not twisted) rhachis (central stalk and are flat, dark greena and shiny above, paler beneath, and 25 -32cm long and 3-6mm wide with a white callous base.
The pollen cones are cylindrical to spindle-shaped, 8-15cm long and 2.5-4cm in diameter. The seed cones are narrowly ovoid in shape, 13-14cm long and 6-8cm in diameter. The oblong-shaped seeds are 20-25mm long, 15-2mm wide and covered in an orange to red fleshy coat when ripe.
Macrozamia longispina is similar to M. macleayi, M. miquelii and M. mountperriensis, but differs from all three of these species by possessing leves with fewer, narrower leaflets and markedly longer spines on the distal sporophylls of both the male and female cones. (Hill 1998; Jones et al. 2001; Hill 2004)
Macrozamia longispina occurs on slopes in the grassy understorey of wet sclerophyll forest and open eucalypt forest at altitudes between 420 and 680 m above sea level. It grows on stony ridges and skeletal soils, generally those derived from serpentinite, or rarely on deep sand. (Hill 1998; Jones et al. 2001; Hill 2004)
Due to their underground stem, adult Macrozamia plants are able to re-sprout after loss of the above-ground foliage from fire. Seedlings and unburied seeds are usually killed by fire. (Queensland Herbarium 2007)
Cones shed pollen in October and November and are attended by thrips Cycadothirps chadwickii. Ripe seed are dispersed in March and April. (Forster et al. 1994)
Contributors: Ailsa Holland, Mellisa Mayhew 18/06/2009
Forester, P.I., Machin, P., Mound, L. & Wilson, G. (1994). Insects associated with the reproductive structures of cycads in Queensland and north-east New South Wlaes, Australia. Biotropica 26: 217-222.
Herbrecs (2008). Macrozamia longispina, in BriMapper version 3.2.1. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 22/12/2008.
Hill, K.D. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 717.
Hill, K. (2004). Macrozamia longispina, in The Cycad Pages online. Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. Accessed 08/10/2008.
Jones, D.L., Forster, P.I. & Sharma, I.K. (2001). Revision of the Macrozamia miquelii (F.Muell.) A.DC. (Zamiaceae section Macrozamia) group. Austrobaileya 6(1): 79-80.
Queensland Herbarium (2007). National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Profile author
Ailsa Holland (18/06/2009)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024