The Gymnosperm Database


Distribution of Ceratozamia species (redrawn from Jones 1993).


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Ceratozamia zaragozae

Medellin-Leal 1963

Common Names

Taxonomic notes

Type locality is at about 1800 m altitude in the Sierra de la Equiteria, San Luis Potosí (Jones 1993).


"A small cycad which in nature develops an ovoid trunk to about 20 cm tall and 11 cm across. Young leaves with brown woolly hairs. Mature leaves two to five per plant, 0.2-0.95 m long, dark green and shiny, smooth, glabrous; petiole 15-25 cm long, swollen and densely woolly at the base, nearly smooth and with very few prickles; rhachis spirally twisted; leaflets sixteen to forty-three on each leaf, 5-25 cm × 0.3-1 cm, linear-lanceolate, straight or somewhat falcate, leathery, dark green and shiny above, paler beneath, the margins slightly inrolled, apex drawn out. Male cones 10-20 cm × 2-3 cm, subcylindrical to cylindrical, brown; sporophylls 8-11 mm × 3-6 mm with two horns 2-3 mm long; peduncle 9-14 cm long, woolly. Female cones 8-12 cm × 6-7 cm, ovoid to nearly cylindrical, usually solitary, brown, glabrous; sporophylls 2.2-3.7 cm × 2-2.5 cm, with two small horns separated by a roughened area. Seeds about 2 cm across, spherical, prominently ribbed.

"As in C. norstogii, the leaves of this species are spirally twisted but, C. zaragozae has shorter leaves (to 1 m long), almost spherical, ribbed seeds and drawn out, attenuate tips to the leaflets" (Jones 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

Mexico: San Luis Potosí, where it is found at elevations of about 1800 m on rhyolite-derived soils in shady forests dominated by Pinus and Quercus (Jones 1993).

Big tree




Grown, albeit rarely, as an ornamental (Jones 1993).



Endangered in its native habitat due to illegal collecting (Jones 1993).

Named for General Ignacio Zaragoza (Jones 1993).


See also

Whitelock (2002).

Last Modified 2017-12-29