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 Zamia subsp. var.  
Zamia furfuracea03.jpg
Habit: palm-cycad
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Origin: mostly N & S America
Poisonous: oftentimes seeds
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Zamiaceae > Zamia var. ,

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Zamia (name used by Pliny, meaning loss or damage, and first applied to barren pine cones, and transferred to these plants apparently because of the cone-like fruit). Cycadaceae. Perennial, tropical and subtropical plants, resembling palms and in some respects ferns.

Caudex sometimes a low trunk, simply lobed or branched, standing above or almost below ground: lvs. few, developing one after the other, pinnately compound; pinnae broad or narrow, articulate at base, entire or serrate, parallel-veined; petiole smooth or spinulose: cones rather small for the order, glabrous or rarely scurfy: fls. dioecious, male cone oblong-cylindrical, female cone similar but larger and thicker: ovules sessile, ovoid.—About 36 species, Trop. and Subtrop. Amer. One of the 9 genera of the Cycas family, as constituted by Alphonse De Candolle (Prodr. 16. pt. 2. pp. 522-47). Other genera of horticultural interest and discussed in this Cyclopedia are Ceratozamia, Cycas, Dioon, Encephalartos, and Macrozamia. The fls. of cycads are dioecious, without envelopes; the pistillate fls. are mere naked ovules inserted under scales in cones, and the staminate fls. are simple anthers under similar scales. The plants are therefore gymnosperms (seeds naked or not inclosed in a pericarp or ripened ovary) and are allied to the conifers. The fr. is a berry-like drupe. In Zamia the floral scales are peltate (and not horned) and form a cylindrical cone; the anthers are numerous, and the ovules pendulous in pairs. The fecundation of Zamia has been studied by H. J. Webber (Bull. No. 2, Bur. Pl. Ind., U. S. Dept. Agric.). His conclusions respecting the Floridian species are accepted below.

The zamias are stocky short- and usually simple-stemmed cycas-like plants, the trunk sometimes subterranean, with long-pinnate evergreen leaves or fronds, the leaflets being thickened and usually broadened at the base, and jointed. Zamias are warmhouse plants, to be treated like species of Cycas or Encephalartos, which see. The plants are propagated by means of seeds and offsets; also by division when there is more than one crown.

Z. corallipes, Versch., is Macrozamia spiralis.—Z. Denisoni, Auth., is Macrozamia Peroffskyana.—Z. glauca, Hort.-Cycas Rumphii(?).—Z. pungens, Ait.-Encephalartos pungens.—Z. spinosa, Lodd.-Encephalartos Altensteinii.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Largest genus of cycad family, Zamiaceae, with over 55 species. Leaves are pinnate, stems are cylindrical or tuber-like. Stems usually subterranean but can be above ground. Palm or fern-like appearance, with male and female plants. Both sexes bear cones, those of the female being larger. Seeds of some species are highly toxic. Leaves are arranged like spirals, are arching, and have smooth leaflets for the most part, whose margins may be toothed, smooth-edged, or bumpy, and in some species spiny. Zamia originate from a range of habitats. Most do best tropical and subtropical frost-free regions, and make nice landscape plants.


Can grow in most well-drained soils. The open-habit types with tougher leaves can handle more exposure and more direct sun, while those with softer leaves, lusher growth, of the the understory types are better off with sheltered, semi-shaded placement and higher humidity.


Propagation from fresh seed.

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  • Flora: The Gardener's Bible, by Sean Hogan. Global Book Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0881925381

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