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Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi

Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi © David Halford, Queensland Herbarium, DSITIA

Common name

(none recorded)

Scientific name

Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi




Cycadopsida (cycads)


Zamiaceae (Zamiaceae)

NCA status


EPBC status


Wetland indicator


Unknown endemicity - native


Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi occurs at coastal and sub-coastal sites up to 230m above sea level. It is commonly found growing in undulating terrain, in sparse woodland on sandy soils (deposits from old beach dunes) which can become wet during the summer and autumn. Less commonly it grows on low, gravelly or shaly ridges. It is also found in open forest communities with a dense low heath or shrubby understorey. (Halford 1995; Hill 1998; Woodland 2003)


Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi has an underground stem up to 20cm in diameter with 1-6 erect leaves forming a sparse crown. Mature leaves are 50-100cm long and hairless except for the wool at the base. Each leaf has140-200 leaflets arranged along a strongly spirally rhachis (stalk). The narrow leaflets are thick textured, 15-40cm long and 2-4mm wide. They are dark green and dull above, yellowish beneath and spreading to weeping in the upper half. Leaflet bases are white and conspicuously thickened.
The plants reproduce by cones which are somewhat pineapple-like in appearance. Male and female cones develop on separate individuals. Male cones are cylindrical, 8-14cm long and 3.5-5cm in diameter. Female cones are ovoid (egg- shaped), 9-12cm long and 5-6.5cm in diameter. Seeds are 1.7-2.5cm long, 1.3-2cm in diameter, and red when ripe.
Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi is closely related to M.parcifolia. Both are distinguished from other species by the narrow leaflets (to 4 mm wide). M. pauli-guilielmi is distinguished from M. parcifolia by the leaflet angle of insertion at 45 degrees and the green new growth. M. parcifolia has leaflets arising at 30 degrees to the rhachis and has bronze new growth. The habitat is also different. (Halford 1995; Hill 1998; Queensland Herbarium 2007)


Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi produces cones extremely irregularly, reportedly every 4-6 years. Cones may not be produced annually when conditions are unfavourable. Pollinators are not known but are likely to be a species of Tranes weevil. Female cones of this species are receptive to pollinators in November and the male cones release volatile fragrances that attract pollinators.
Seed becomes ripe in March to April and is not ready to germinate for another 12 months, due to the delayed fertilisation process unique to cycads. (Halford 1995; Norstag & Nicholls 1997; Queensland Herbarium 2007)


All Macrozamia species contain toxin which can cause debilitating symptoms or death if ingested in sufficient quantities. There have been indications that this species often causes poisoning in cattle, particularly during spring. (Halford 1995; Queensland Herbarium 2007)


(no information available)

Threatening Processes

Heavy illegal collecting of seed and mature plants. Also forestry (particularly pine plantations), agriculture and coastal development.

Human uses

The nuts of Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi were once stored for use by indigenous people, possibly as a food source. The toxic nature of this plant and possible long-term health effects mean that this possible food source has long been abandoned. (Queensland Herbarium 2007)


Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008). Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Canberra. Accessed 09/10/2008.
Halford, D. (1995). Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi, in Species Management Manual. Department of Natural Resources, Brisbane.
Herbrecs (2008). Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi, in BriMapper version 2.12. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 09/10/2008.
Hill, K.D. in McCarthy, P.M. (Ed) (1998). Flora of Australia 48: 652-653.
Norstag, K.J. & Nicholls, T.J. (1997). The Biology of the Cycads. Cornell University Press: Ithaca (USA) and London, UK.
Queensland Herbarium (2007). National Multi-species Recovery Plan for the cycads, Cycas megacarpa, Cycas ophiolitica, Macrozamia cranei, Macrozamia lomandroides, Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi and Macrozamia platyrhachis. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Woodland, M. (2003). Wide Bay training area - threatened plant survey. Report to the Department of Defence. Parsons Brinckerhoff, Brisbane.


Contributors: Weslawa Misiak, 28/04/1999; Ailsa Holland, Mellisa Mayhew 18/06/2009

Further resources

This page should be cited as:

Macrozamia pauli-guilielmi, WetlandInfo, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 18 October 2017, <>.

Queensland Government
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