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Species profile—Cycas couttsiana


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → CycadaceaeCycas couttsiana

Photo of Cycas couttsiana () - Forster, P.,Queensland Herbarium, DES (Licence: CC BY NC),1995
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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Cycas couttsiana K.D.Hill
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
Cycas couttsiana is a cycad with a trunk 5-7m tall. Juvenille leaves are blue to blue-green, powdery and densely covered with greyish-white or orange-brown hairs. The mature leaves are strongly keeled (V-shaped) in cross-section, 100-130cm long and have 180-270 leaflets that are inserted at 30-90 degrees along the rhachis (central stalk) and arranged 5-9 mm apart. The leaflets are dull blue-green in colour, straight (not arching) in profile. The petiole (leaf stalk) is 17-21cm long and have spines (pinnacanths) for 30-100 precent of their length. The median leaflets are 17-21cm long, 4.5-6mm wide and narrowed to 3-4.5mm at the base. The leaflets have a waxy bloom and are rigid with the margins slightly recurved or nearly flat.
The pollen cones are ovoid (egg-shaped), 15-20cm long, 7-9cm in diameter and orange in colour. The scales arranged around the male cone are 30-35mm long and 12mm wide, with a spine 8mm long at the tip. The female sporophylls are 16-26cm long, the apical lobe lance-shaped, 40-60mm long, 20-30mm wide, and with an apical spine 15-25mm long at the tip; each with 4-6 ovules. The seeds are ovoid, 35-46mm long and 28-38mm wide, green to yellowish-brown and powdery.
This species is characterised by the relatively broad, bluish leaflets with almost flat margins and the persistent soft white hairs. C. couttsiana is allied to C. cairnsiana but is taller growing and lacks the revolut leaf margins of htat species. C. cupida can be distinguished by rusty brown hairs on the new leaves. (Hill 1998)
Cycas couttsiana occurs in open grassy woodlands in red sandy loams derived from basalt or dolerite. (Hill 1998; Herbrecs 2008)
Male cones shed pollen and female sporophylls are receptive in November. Pollination is effected by small beetles in an obligate mutualistic relationships.
Management documents
Conservation and management of protected plants in trade in Queensland 1995-1998. Department of Environment.
Contributors: Ailsa Holland, Paul Forster, Mellisa Mayhew 17/06/2009
Herbrecs (2008). Cycas couttsiana, in BriMapper version 3.2.1. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 16/12/2008.
Hill, K. (1992). A preliminary account of Cycas (Cycadaceae) in Queensland. Telopea 5(1): 177-206.
Hill, K.D. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 613.
Jones, D.L. (2002). Cycads of the World, Ancient Plants in Today's Landscape. edn 2. New Holland Publishers, Australia.
Profile author
Ailsa Holland (17/06/2009)

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