Encephalartos spiralis major Miq.
Macrozamia amabilis W.Bull
Macrozamia eximia W.Bull
Macrozamia hillii W.Bull
Macrozamia pulchra W.Bull
Macrozamia spiralis eximia (W.Bull) Regel
Macrozamia spiralis fraseri Regel
Macrozamia spiralis hillii (W.Bull) Regel
Macrozamia tridentata hillii (W.Bull) J.Schust.
Macrozamia tridentata vavilovii J.Schust.
Common Name: Burrawong
Macrozamia communis is a slow-growing, evergreen, palm-like plant with a usually subterranean main stem that in shallow soils can form an erect aerial stem 1 - 2 metres tall and 30 - 60cm in diameter. The stem is topped by a crown of 50 - 100, erect to spreading large leaves each around 70 - 200cm long[
The plant was harvested in the past on a successful commercial basis for the high quality starch obtained from its stem, but it is now only used locally[
Macrozamia communis is very common across its wide range and the threats are not significant enough to warrant any concern. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2010)[
Australia - eastern and southeastern New South Wales
Locally abundant in wet to dry sclerophyll forests, mostly on old beach sands but also on shallow sandy or stony soils on ridges, sometimes forming dense stands where it is the dominant understory plant.; at elevations up to 300 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Macrozamia communis in sative to the warm temperate and subtropical climate of eastern Australia. It grows in an area where temperatures range from a summer maximum of 35°c to a winter minimum of −4°c. Mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,000 - 1,500mm, evenly distributed throughout the year[
An almost universal requirement for cycads is a well-drained but moisture-retentive soil, and by far the best soils are sandy gravels and light loams which provide the required drainage and aeration necessary for good growth. Cycads will generally not grow well in clay soils unless those soils are heavily amended with sand and organic matter[
]. A neutral soil (pH 7), is generally best for most species of cycads and allows the proper absorption of nutrients. A slightly acid soil is better for most cycads than a basic one[
Cycad species can usually be transplanted easily even when quite large. The best time for moving them is just before the beginning of a new growing season, the roots being trimmed if they are damaged and perhaps some leaves being removed. New roots should develop quickly as the season progresses[
Species in this genus form structures known as coralloid roots. These roots branch off from the taproot or secondary roots and are distinctive in that they grow laterally or upward, forming a nodular mass at the apex. These coralloid roots occur slightly below or slightly above the soil surface and generally contain cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. These are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen and make it available as a nutrient to the plant. The ability to extract this important nutrient from the air explains how many cycad species are able to survive on almost sterile soils[
A dioecious species, with individual plants producing either all male or all female cones. Therefore both male and female forms of the plant need to be grown if seed is required[
]. On very rare occasions, usually when a plant has been under severe stress, it can change sex and produce either all female or all male cones[
Caution should be employed if using any part of this plant for food. All parts of the plant can contain toxins and can only be eaten if proper measures are taken to remove these toxins.
A high quality starch can be obtained from the central pith of the stem and used as a food[
]. The pith is ground in water and the resultant mixture strained through a silk sieve to catch the fibrous material, allowing the starch to pass through. Finally, the starch is purified by leaching in water for a period of time, rinsing, then drying into a fine white powder. The resultant starch is of high quality and is said to perform better than starch produced from rice or corn[
]. The starch can also be used for making alcohol and and glucose[
Seed - cooked. Seeds flattened-ovoid, 30–45 mm long, 20–30 mm wide[
A high quality starch obtained from the stam can be used for laundry starch and the production of adhesive paste[
Seeds - best sown as soon as they are ripe, though the seeds of many species will take a few months to finish maturing the embryo before they are ready to germinate. Sow the seeds in a tray in a freely-draining medium and place in moderate shade. Bottom heat at about 27°c will hasten seed germination dramatically. Young roots are quite brittle and once germination takes place, the root grows rapidly. It is important to pot up the seedlings at this time in order to give them enough root-space. Grow on the plants in pots until large enough to plant out[