Cycas angulata

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Figure 1. C. angulata in habitat

Reports of very large tall cycads are rife across the top from east to west, but the species it most applies to is Cycas angulata that occurs in colonies mostly in the Gulf of Carpentaria region. This giant among the genus Cycas has a mature average height of 10 metres with sightings reporting it being much taller.

The photographed stand was a small grouping approximately where the Sir Edward Pellew Group islands occur offshore in the gulf country. These were near Borroloola, but the main habitat is between the three rivers, McArthur, Wearyan, Robinson and their districts.

The stout caudices, topped with thick arching fronds make them a very attractive species, and probably this is the cycad most mentioned as a food source by Northern Territory aborigines.

Reports of taller cycads occur from Fogg Bay N.T. to Cairns north Queensland, these probably are inter-graded Cycas crosses.

Figure 2. C. angulata; cultivated specimen, Katherine, NT.

Contributed by:

Len Butt
Gary Beaumont (Figure 2)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums