Flora of Standley ChasmGeorges Indigo MacDonnell Ranges Cycad

The MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii).

Cycads are very ancient plants, their ancestors 200 million years ago were the dominant flora on the planet. The Jurassic Era of the dinosaurs is also known as “The Age of the Cycad”.

Female cone seeds on MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii)
Female cone seeds on MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii)

Cycads existed before flowering plants. Often mistaken for palms, cycads are acutally primitive seed plants (Gymnosperms) along with gingkos and conifers.

This rare and endemic species of cycad Macrozamia macdonnellii, known by its unique blue-green appearance, has been isolated for millennia in refuges in the MacDonnell Ranges. It’s nearest relatvie are located 1,400 kms away.

This ancient relict is from a cooler and wetter climate of Gondwanaland, 50 million years ago in the Tertiary period, when temperate rainforests and large inland seas and lakes prevailed.

Click here to view more information on the MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii).


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Division: Cycadophyta
  • Class: Cycadopsida
  • Order: Cycadales
  • Family: Zamiaceae
  • Genus: Macrozamia
  • Species: M. macdonnellii
  • Binomial name: Macrozamia macdonnellii

Flora of Standley ChasmGeorges Indigo MacDonnell Ranges Cycad

Standley ChasmFauna of Standley Chasm Flora of Standley Chasm