Cycad Publications

On this page are listed cycad-related articles and publications. Click a link below to go directly to the subject area of your choice.

[ Biology/Anatomy/General Info ]  [ Taxonomy/Phylogenetics
[ Biogeography ]  [ Ethnobotany ]  [ Toxins ]  [ Pests ]  [ Books for Sale ]

TCS Publications

Expanded Glossary of Cycad Terms

In 2009, TCS developed an expanded glossary of more than 1,200 cycad terms (using the Glossary of Terms Encountered in Cycad Systematics provided in Walters & Osborne [2004] as a foundation) as well as a fully illustrated glossary of more than 500 terms using cycad-specific examples. Click here for more information.

Etymological Compendium of Cycad Names

Also in 2009, TCS compiled a list of the etymologies (= meanings) of all valid cycad names. Click here to view this etymological compendium.

"Cycad Focus" Segments from the Cycad Newsletter

One of the consistent components of the Cycad Newsletter has been the "Cycad Focus" column, in which a different species of cycad is highlighted in each issue. These columns typically feature taxonomical, horticultural, phenological, and other information on the respective 'target' species. TCS will be making these in-depth "Cycad Focus" articles available online in an effort to provide quality educational information on cycads to a broader audience. Click here to go to the "Cycad Focus" articles on the Cycad Newsletter page.

Cycad Specialist Group Publications

The most important publication of the IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group (CSG) released to date is the Cycad Action Plan. Published in 2003, this 86-page document brings together a collection of data and opinions on one of the world's most threatened plant groups and presents a series of action plans to promote their conservation. The Cycad Action Plan is available in PDF format from the IUCN/SSC website. The full citation for this document is as follows:

Donaldson, J.S. (ed.). 2003. Cycads: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, UK. ix + 86 pp.

Click the links below to download the entire document or parts thereof.

In 2003, CSG Chair, Dr. John Donaldson, produced the following article on cycad reserves for the 5th World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa:

Also in 2003, the CSG provided most of the data and analysis for the CITES Significant Trade Review of Cycads, compiled by TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa. The report is as follows:

The following news release on cycads was issued by the IUCN in 2003:

The following is a report submitted by the CSG Chair, Dr. John Donaldson, to the IUCN in 2004:

The World List of Cycads is maintained by the CSG and is published every three years. Click the link below to go to the most recent published version.

In 2005, on the 20th anniversary of the World List of Cycads, Jody Haynes conducted a historical review of all published world lists and compiled a comprehensive comparison table listing every taxon ever included on a world list and indicating when each name was added and, in some cases, later removed. This document has never been formally published, but the most recent update (November 2009) is available for download using the link provided below.

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Other Publications

Cycad Biology, Anatomy & General Information

Below are some articles that provide either general information on cycads or more specific information on their biology or anatomy.

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Cycad Taxonomy & Phylogenetics

In 2002, a Cycad Classification Concepts workshop was held at Montgomery Botanical Center in Miami, FL, USA. The primary goal of the workshop was to ensure that cycad taxonomy and classification efforts are scientifically robust and standardized as much as possible. A 300-page volume entitled Cycad Classification: Concepts and Recommendations was published in 2004 from papers presented at this workshop. The full citation for this volume is as follows:

Walters, T. & R. Osborne (eds.). 2004. Cycad Classification: Concepts and Recommendations. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, MA.

Included are contributions from leading researchers from Australia, China, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, and USA. Although not an official CSG publication, this unique volume provides guidelines for the designation of species, species boundaries, and species groupings, thus clarifying what has long been a confused area of research. In support of future cycad studies, a glossary of terms used in cycad systematics , an extensive listing of available resources and contacts, and an updated World List of Cycads complete the volume.

Below are links to an unpublished manuscript entitled A Taxonomic Monograph of the Cycads, written by Charles J. Chamberlain just prior to his death in 1943. This is the first time this manuscript has ever been made available to the general public. It is obviously a draft and contains hand-written editorial comments by Arthrur W. Haupt of UCLA.

The following document was associated with Chamberlain's manuscript. It was obviously written after his death, but the author is unknown.

The following was one of the earliest attempts at addressing the phylogenetic relationships of the modern cycads.

The link below is one of the most controversial works on cycads ever published. According to Dr. Paolo DeLuca, Schuster's lack of familiarity of both the living cycads and modern nomenclatural concepts caused “great confusion and instability in the nomenclature of cycads” (DeLuca, 1990). Written entirely in German, it is presented here solely as a historical piece. Be forewarned that the entire manuscript file is quite large and may not open properly; but it can be downloaded in its entirety. For reading online, it is recommended to use the individual page files.

Below is an emended description of Dioon mejiae presented at the CYCAD 2005 conference in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Below are a couple articles that better elucidate the molecular relationships among the extant cycad genera.

Two new cycad species from Honduras were described in the June/September 2008 issue of the Cycad Newsletter -- representing the first ever species descriptions to be published there. They are available below:

The following article discusses the taxonomic status and morphologic affinities of a recently described Encephalartos from Central Africa.

In 2005, Tim Gregory, Jody Haynes, and Jeff Chemnick created a wonderfully illustrated poster and identification key that summarizes the vegetative traits most useful in identifying the known species of Dioon (right). Originally presented at the 7th International Conference on Cycad Biology (CYCAD 2005) in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, this one-of-a-kind poster (which measures 24" x 36") has been printed on heavy glossy paper and made available for sale by TCS. Proceeds from the sale of the posters will go toward cycad research, conservation, and/or education.

Click the link below to see the poster.


In 2008, Jeff Chemnick, Tim Gregory, Jody Haynes, Miguel Angel Perez-Farrera, and Loran Whitelock created another wonderfully illustrated poster and identification key that summarizes the vegetative traits most useful in identifying the known species of Ceratozamia (see below). Originally presented at the 8th International Conference on Cycad Biology (CYCAD 2008) in Panama City, Panama, this one-of-a-kind poster (which measures 24" x 36") has been printed on heavy glossy paper and made available for sale by TCS. Proceeds from the sale of the posters will go toward cycad research, conservation, and/or education.

Click the link below to see the poster.

Original Species Descriptions

Click here to see our database of 190+ original cycad species descriptions.

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Cycad Biogeography

Below is a new chapter on Central American cycad biogeography published in a book entitled Global Advances in Biogeography:

Cycad Ethnobotany

The following is a preliminary assessment of the impacts of harvest on the Indian endemic, Cycas circinalis, in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in Western Ghats, South India. It was prepared in a collaborative effort by representatives of People and Plants International and Keystone Foundation:

And below is a Cycad Newsletter article written by the same authors and describing their continuing work on Cycas circinalis in India:

Below is a recent paper on the ethnobotany and conservation status of Dioon mejiae—known locally as ‘tiusinte’—in Honduras:

The following is a recent article on the ethnobotany of Dioon merolae in Mexico:

Below is a list of vernacular (common) names for cycads around the world:

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Cycad Toxins

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Cycad Pests

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Books for Sale

Various books on cycads are available.

One of the newest books published is on the cycads of Vietnam.

Osborne, R., K. D. Hill, H. T. Nguyen, and L. Phan Ke. 2007. Cycads of Vietnam. Published by R. Osborne & W. van Eeden.

The book can be ordered online, or it can also be purchased locally in South Africa. Please click the book cover for more information on this book and how to purchase a copy.

Note: To read or print PDF documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat or the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you may download a free copy from the Adobe website by clicking on the following button: 


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This page was updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012.