Cycas edentata

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Figure 1. C. edentata



C. litoralis

Conservation Status:

The species is declining due to loss of coastal habitat but the exact extent of decline is unknown, so although probably not immediately threatened, it is potentially vulnerable in the longer term. The original description referred only to a small population with an estimated area of occupancy of 1 km", which would qualify for listing as Critically Endangered due to ongoing decline. However, the current taxonomy regards the more widespread C. litoralis as synonymous with C. edentata (Lindstrom et al. 2008). Osborne et al. (2007) estimate that there are 10,000 mature plants with an area of occupancy of ca. 1,000 km" and numerous locations.

Distribution & Habitat:

Originally thought to occur only in the Philippines, because of its recent synonymy with C. litoralis it is now known to be widespread and locally common in much of southeast Asia. Subpopulations are found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. It occurs only along shorelines, in full sun to moderate shade often in dry littoral scrub on beach sand, stabilized coastal sand dunes or rocky headlands, often in very shallow soil and apparently over both granite and limestone substrates.


Medium sized solitary cycad to 3 m (10 ft) tall, with bright green, highly glossy leaves, 150-230 cm long, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180" on rachis), and with between 100-230 broad leaflets. The male cone has a short tip spine on the microsporangia. It has large spongy seeds which float and so they can be dispersed by ocean currents.

Figure 2. C. edentata in spectacular habitat.
Figure 3. C. edentata male cone .
Figure 4. C. edentata

Contributed by:

Eric Hanquinet (Figure 1,2,3&4)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums