Chigua – Cycad, Taxonomy

English name: Chigua

Sub Title:  Cycad, Taxonomy, & Facts

Chigua, genus of two species of cycads in the family Zamiaceae endemic to lowland rainforest habitats in Colombia. The genus is similar to the closely related Zamia, but Chigua differs in details of its cone morphology and in having leaflets with a well-defined midrib and branched secondary veins. Chigua plants have a short subterranean caudex (woody base) and relatively few leaves. The male microsporangiate and female megasporangiate cones are stalked and have sporophylls arranged in vertical ranks, with more or less flattened six-sided tips. Chigua is of interest as a relatively new cycad genus, having been recognized as distinct in 1990. Chigua plants have only rarely been encountered in nature, and their ecology and taxonomy are still not fully understood.