Australian Native Plants

  Macrozamia communis (Burrawang)


Macrozamia communis photo
Macrozamia communis or burrawang, a cycad of the family Zamiaceae at Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia.

Photograph by AYArktos. License: Public Domain.    (view image details)

Macrozamia communis photo
Seeds of Macrozamia communis, commonly known as Burrawang, Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Photograph by AYArktos. License: Public Domain.    (view image details)




BURRAWANG FACTS

distribution map showing range of Macrozamia communis in Australia

Map is from The Atlas of Living Australia web site, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License


Common Name
Burrawang

Description
Macrozamia communis is an Australian cycad found on the east coast of New South Wales. It has large glossy, deep-green fern-like (pinnate) leaves about 1m to 2m long. Plants on shallow soils and on rocky ridges usually have a short columnar trunk. On coastal sand dunes, Macrozamia communis usually forms a subterranean caudex with no visible trunk, although some trunked plants are found on sand. The seed cones are produced after fire. Male and female cones are produced on separate plants. Male cones are cylindrical, about 20cm to 45 cm long and 15 cm wide. Female cones are about 20cm wide. The large female cycad seeds are red or yellow when ripe. The seeds of the Burrawang are a source of starch but are poisonous unless treated. The Aboriginal people pulped the seeds and soaked in water for days to remove the toxins, before roasting the pulp for food.

Height
3m

Spread
3m

Habitat
The Burrawang grows in woodland and open forest

Propagation
Propagation of this cycad is from seed which germinates easily without pretreatment.

Distribution
Macrozamia communis is found in coastal New South Wales and eastern slopes of the Great Dividing Range. It is the most common cycad in New South Wales. The range extends from around Taree on the mid-north coast to near Bega on the south coast.



Classification
Class:Cycadopsida
Order:Cycadales
Family:Zamiaceae
Genus:Macrozamia
Species:communis
Common Name:Burrawang


Relatives in same Genus
  Macrozamia johnsonii
  Macrozamia macdonnellii
  Macrozamia miquelii
  Macrozamia moorei
  Macrozamia riedlei