- Category: Plants
DescriptionA medium-sized cycad which develops an emergent, often globose, dark brown trunk to 1 m long and 20 cm diameter.
Mature Leaves10 - 20, erect to spreading in a graceful arching crown, 1.5 - 2.5 m long, dark green, glabrous, flat in cross-section, straight to arching in profile.
Male Cones20 - 30 x 8 - 12 cm, cylindrical, tapered, erect, recurved or nearly pendent, brown.
Female Cones20 - 35, 10 - 12 cm, cylindrical to barrel-shaped, erect, grey.
SeedsAbout 2 x 1.8 cm, ovoid, the sarcotesta white to cream, smooth.
Distribution and HabitatWidely distributed in Hidalgo, Puebla, San Luis Potosi and Veracruz, Mexico. This species extends from lowland regions to moderate elevations in the mountains, growing in a range of forested habitats, including wet tropical rainforests, moist to drier woodlands and cloud forests.
C. mexicana is the type of the genus and was described in 1846 from plants cultivated in Paris. Variable features include globose to cylindrical trunks ranging from subterranean to fully emergent; leaflets ranging from narrow to broad and from lax to stiffly erect; and smooth to densely prickly petioles and rhachises.
This species is often linked with the more widely distributed C. robusta but plants are less vigorous than that species and have smaller leaves, attenuate apices on the leaflets and smaller cones.