Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Cycas platyphylla

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - June

Common name none
Scientific name Cycas platyphylla K.D.Hill
Family  Cycadaceae

Genus: From the Greek kykas, the name of a kind of palm, because of the resemblance to palms.

Species: From the Greek platys, broad, and phyllon, leaf, in reference to the broad sterile tip of the female sporophyll.

Distribution Occurs in Queensland where the main population is found in the Petford district on the north-western Atherton Tableland. There are also three smaller disjunct populations in Queensland.
Native habitat It occurs in open grassy ironbark-dominated woodland on shallow loamy soils on stony slopes.
Description A small to medium cycad with an erect, unbranched trunk to 2-4 m high. There are separate male and female plants.
Flowering/fruiting Fruiting is in autumn to winter.

Location in Garden

In Bed 1 in the Connections Garden.


This species is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and as Endangered under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The range of this species is small, and none of the habitat is conserved.

The main threat to the species is illegal collection. It is particularly attractive to collectors because of its coloured foliage and compact habit. At some localities, populations have declined due to the extraction of mature plants.

A botanist at the National Herbarium of New South Wales is using the latest genetic technology to conserve Cycas in Australia. Using DNA, botanic gardens Cycas plants here and around the world are being compared to the wild plants. Any missing wild genetic varieties will then be added in our collections - by doing this we are preserving genetic diversity as a safeguard against the many threats that cycads will face in the future.