Cycas beddomei Dyer, Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 2: 85 1881. (Syn: Cycas circinalis var. beddomei (Dyer) J.Schust.);

Cycas beddomei is a species of cycad in the genus Cycas, native to India, where it is confined to a small area of Andhra Pradesh state in the Tirumala Hills in scrubland and brush covered hills.

Superficially similar to Cycas revoluta, it has erect, solitary stems. There are 20-30 leaves in the crown, each leaf 90 cm long, stiff, lanceolate, pinnate, with 50-100 pairs of leaflets, these 10-17.5 cm long and 3–4 mm wide, and angled forward at 45 degrees; the leaf petiole bears minute spines.
The female cones are open, with sporophylls 15–20 cm long, with pink-brown coloured tomentose down, with two ovules. The cones emerge in November to December, ripening in March to May. The lamina margin is strongly toothed, with an acuminate point. The sarcotesta is yellow to brown. The male cones are solitary, ovoid, 30 cm long and 7.5 cm broad, with an apical spine and rhomboid sporophyll face.
The species is unusual in that it contains a layer of fleshy material between the sarcotesta and the sclerotesta that is thought to aid the seed by providing it with a source of water. As cycad seeds have no dormancy, this would be an important trait in its arid habitat.
It is named after the botanist Richard Henry Beddome.
(From Wikipedia on 24.9.13)

This species is known only from the Tirupati-Kadapa Hills in Andhra Pradesh State, northwest of Madras in eastern Peninsular India. The hills are also known as the Seshachalam hills. Occurs from 300 to 900 m.
The entire area of distribution should probably be considered as a single locality since the blocks where the species occurs are contiguous and a single event such as a large fire, disease or pest outbreak could impact the entire population. 

This is characteristically a species of dry, open hill slopes. It grows in an area with annual rainfall of 570-1,230 mm. Plants grow on skeletal soils, mainly in dry deciduous mixed type forest with patches of moist deciduous forest.  


I am attaching female and male plants of Cycas beddomei, photographed from Seshachalam hills

Plant name: Cycas beddomei Dyer

Common names: Beddome’s cycas, Andhra Pradesh Cycas (Eng.); Perita, Madhana – Kamakshi.

Family: Cycadaceae

Description: Small unbranched tree to 2 m high, bole diameter up to 20cm; bark brown, exfoliating in rectangular scales.

Leaves: Stem crowned with 20-30 large, pinnately compound leaves; leaves 1-1.2 m long, rachis quadrangular; petiole up to 15 cm long with minute spines on upper portion, base clothed with tufted tomentum; leaflets narrow, linear, 10 – 18 x 0.2-0.35 cm, margins revolute, apex spinous-acuminate.

Flowers and fruits: Plants dioecious; flowers absent. Male and female plants produce a single cone at the top of the stem.  Male cones short-stalked, compact, narrowly ovoid woody structures, orange in colour, up to 35 x 16 cm; with 800-820 microsporophylls, spirally around a central axis; except a few at basal and apical parts of the cone all are fertile; microsporophyll 3.5-4 x 0.5 cm, oblong, deltoid, tapering, acuminate at apex, lower erect, upper strongly recurved; abaxial surface bears microsporangia up to the wedge-shaped expanded part of the microsporophyll.  

Female plants produce 40-50 megasporophylls in close spirals in acropetal succession at the apex of the stem; each one ovate-lanceolate, differentiated into basal stalk and upper pinnate strongly toothed flat lamina with an apical acuminate spine; up to 4 x 2 cm; ovules usually 2-4 on either side of stalk. Seeds globose.

Phenology: The male and female cones occur in April-June;

Axis of male cone elongates on maturation, loosening sporophylls, emits pleasant fragrance.

Distribution: This species endemic to Seshachalam hills (formerly called as Cuddapah – Tirupati hills) of the Southern Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. 

Uses: The seeds are processed and eaten in mixture with cereal. The male cones are pruned away by local tribals because they consider it has narcotic and rejuvenating properties. 

Images by Raghu Ananth, ID validation by Satish Kumar Chile and Tanay Bose



Tree’s sporting the summer look #13 of 15 | Cycas beddomeii :

In the midst of nowhere we found this cycad ….
Cycas beddomeii (Please confirm the Identification)
Peacock feathered gymnosperm, Endemic eastern peninsular India, 


28 Mar 2010

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-Talakona, Andhra Pradesh, 
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Wild, Forest, dry hill slopes,  Eastern ghats, Hill Top, 
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- Cycad
Height/Length-approx –  ~ around a meter or two 
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Peacock feather
Inflorescence Type/ Size-
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-cm – No flowers,
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- No fruits

I also agree with you this must be Cycas circinalis subsp. vera var. beddomei syn. C. boddami hort.

Undoubtedly Cycas beddomei [Syn: Cycas circinalis subsp. vera var. beddomei, C. boddami ] commonly called Andra Pradesh Cycas!!  



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