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Starr 060905-8736 Zamia furfuracea.jpg
Zamia furfuracea
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Gymnosperms
Division: Cycadophyta
Class: Cycadopsida
Order: Cycadales
Family: Zamiaceae
Subtribe: Zamiinae
Genus: Zamia
Type species
Zamia pumila L.
  • Palmifolium Kuntze
  • Palma-filix Adans.
  • Aulacophyllum Regel
  • Chigua D.W.Stev.
  • Pycnophyllados

Zamia is a genus of cycad of the family Zamiaceae, native to North America from the United States (in Georgia and Florida) throughout the West Indies, Central America, and South America as far south as Bolivia.[2][3][4][5] The genus is considered to be the most ecologically and morphologically diverse cycads, and is estimated to have originated about 68.3 million years ago.[6]


The genus comprises deciduous shrubs with aerial or subterranean circular stems, often superficially resembling palms. They produce spirally arranged, pinnate leaves which are pubescent, at least when young, having branched and simple, transparent and coloured hairs. The articulated leaflets lack a midrib, and are broad with subparallel dichotomous venation. Lower leaflets are not reduced to spines, though the petioles often have prickles. The emerging leaves of many Zamia species are striking, some emerging with a reddish or bronze cast (Z. roeslii being an example). Zamia picta is even more distinctive, being the only truly variegated cycad (having whitish/yellow speckles on the leaves).[7]


Zamia sporophylls are born in vertical rows in cones, and the megasporophyll apices are faceted or flattened, not spinose. The fleshy seeds are subglobular to oblong or ellipsoidal, and are red, orange, yellow or rarely white. The endosperm is haploid, derived from the female gametophyte. The embryo is straight, with two cotyledons that are usually united at the tips and a very long, spirally twisted suspensor. The sperm of members from the genus are large, as is typical of cycads, and Z. roezlii is an example; its sperm are approximately 0.4 mm long and can be seen by the unaided eye.[8]

Preferred habitat[edit]

All the species of Zamia produce leafy crowns of foliage that make them choice garden specimens and most varieties branch heavily in age to produce handsome clumps. With a few exceptions, most Zamia species are found in warm, humid, tropical rainforest habitats, growing in the forest understory. However, many species are still fairly adaptable, performing quite well in cultivation, especially in subtropical areas. All species need good drainage and protection from the cold.


At least one species, Z. pseudoparasitica, grows as an epiphyte in the branches of trees.

Zamia furfuracea leaves


Accepted species:[9]

  1. Zamia acuminata Oerst.ex Dyer - Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama
  2. Zamia amazonum D.W.Stev. - Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil
  3. Zamia amplifolia Hort.Bull ex Mast. - Colombia
  4. Zamia angustifolia Jacq. - The Bahamas, Cuba
  5. Zamia boliviana (Brongn.) A.DC. - Bolivia, Brazil (Mato Grosso)
  6. Zamia chigua Seem. - Colombia
  7. Zamia cremnophila Vovides, Schutzman & Dehgan - Tabasco, Mexico
  8. Zamia cunaria Dressler & D.W.Stev. - Panama
  9. Zamia decumbens Calonje, Meerman, M.P. Griff. & Hoese - Belize
  10. Zamia disodon D.W.Stev. & Sabato - Colombia
  11. Zamia dressleri D.W.Stev. - Panama
  12. Zamia elegantissima Schutzman, Vovides & R.S.Adams - Panama
  13. Zamia encephalartoides D.W. Stev. - Colombia
  14. Zamia erosa O.F.Cook & G.N.Collins - Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico
  15. Zamia fairchildiana L.D.Gómez - Panama, Costa Rica
  16. Zamia fischeri Miq. ex Lem. - Mexico (San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Tamaulipas)
  17. Zamia furfuracea L.f. - cardboard palm - Mexico (Veracruz)
  18. Zamia gentryi Dodson Ecuador
  19. Zamia gomeziana R.H.Acuña - Costa Rica
  20. Zamia grijalvensis Pérez-Farr., Vovides & Mart.-Camilo - Mexico (Chiapas)
  21. Zamia hamannii A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  22. Zamia herrerae Calderón & Standl. - Mexico (Chiapas), El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras
  23. Zamia huilensis Calonje, H.E.Esquivel & D.W.Stev. Colombia
  24. Zamia hymenophyllidia D.W.Stev. - Colombia, Peru
  25. Zamia imperialis A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  26. Zamia incognita A.Lindstr. & Idárraga - Colombia
  27. Zamia inermis Vovides, J.D.Rees & Vázq.Torres - Mexico (Veracruz)
  28. Zamia integrifolia L.f. - coontie palm/Florida arrowroot - United States (Florida, Georgia), Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico
  29. Zamia ipetiensis D.W.Stev. - Panama
  30. Zamia katzeriana (Regel) E.Rettig - Mexico
  31. Zamia lacandona Schutzman & Vovides - Mexico (Chiapas)
  32. Zamia lecointei Ducke - Brazil (Pará), Venezuela, Colombia, Peru
  33. Zamia lindenii Regel ex André - Peru, Ecuador
  34. Zamia lindleyi Warsz. ex A.Dietr. - Panama
  35. Zamia loddigesii Miq. Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Quintana Roo, Yucatán
  36. Zamia lucayana Britton - Bahamas
  37. Zamia macrochiera D.W.Stev. - Peru
  38. Zamia manicata Linden ex Regel - Panama, Colombia
  39. Zamia meermanii Calonje - Belize
  40. Zamia melanorrhachis D.W.Stev. - Colombia
  41. Zamia montana A.Braun - Colombia
  42. Zamia monticola Chamb. - Guatemala
  43. Zamia muricata Willd. - Colombia, Venezuela
  44. Zamia nana A.Lindstr., Calonje, D.W.Stev. & A.S.Taylor Panama[10]
  45. Zamia nesophila A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  46. Zamia neurophyllidia D.W.Stev. - Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
  47. Zamia obliqua A.Braun - Colombia
  48. Zamia onan-reyesii C.Nelson & Sandoval - Honduras
  49. Zamia oreillyi C.Nelson - Honduras
  50. Zamia paucijuga Wieland - Mexico (Guerrero, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca)
  51. Zamia poeppigiana Mart. & Eichler - Bolivia, Brazil (Acre)
  52. Zamia portoricensis Urb. - Puerto Rico
  53. Zamia prasina W.Bull - Belize, Mexico (Tabasco, Yucatán)
  54. Zamia pseudomonticola L.D.Gómez - Panama, Costa Rica
  55. Zamia pseudoparasitica Yates - Panama
  56. Zamia pumila L. - guáyara / Dominican zamia - Hispaniola (Dominican Republic), possibly Cuba; possibly extirpated in Puerto Rico and Haiti
  57. Zamia purpurea Vovides, J.D.Rees & Vázq.Torres - Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca)
  58. Zamia pygmaea Sims - Cuba
  59. Zamia pyrophylla Calonje, D.W.Stev. & A.Lindstr. - Colombia
  60. Zamia restrepoi (D.W.Stev.) A.Lindstr. - Colombia
  61. Zamia roezlii Regel ex Linden - Colombia, Ecuador
  62. Zamia sandovalii C.Nelson - Honduras
  63. Zamia skinneri Warsz. ex A.Dietr. - Panama
  64. Zamia soconuscensis Schutzman, Vovides & Dehgan - Mexico (Chiapas)
  65. Zamia spartea A.DC. in Candolle - Mexico (Oaxaca)
  66. Zamia standleyi Schutzman - Guatemala, Honduras
  67. Zamia stevensonii A.S.Taylor & Holzman Panama
  68. Zamia stricta Miq. - Cuba
  69. Zamia tolimensis Calonje, H.E.Esquivel & D.W.Stev - Colombia
  70. Zamia tuerckheimii Donn.Sm. - Guatemala
  71. Zamia ulei Dammer - Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil
  72. Zamia urep B.Walln. - Peru
  73. Zamia variegata Warsz. - Mexico (Chiapas), Belize, Guatemala
  74. Zamia vazquezii D.W.Stev., Sabato & De Luca - Mexico (Veracruz)
  75. Zamia verschaffeltii Miq. - Mexico (Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas)
  76. Zamia wallisii H.J.Veitch - Colombia


  1. ^ "Genus: Zamia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  2. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Hill, K.D. & Stevenson, D.W. (1999). A world list of Cycads, 1999. Excelsa 19: 67-72.
  4. ^ Flora of North America, vol 2, Zamia integrifolia Linnaeus f. in Aiton, Hort. Kew. 3: 478. 1789.
  5. ^ Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark. 1958. Cycadaceae. In Standley, P.C. & Steyermark, J.A. (Eds), Flora of Guatemala - Part I. Fieldiana, Bot. 24(1): 11–20.
  6. ^ Arboreal camera trapping sheds light on seed dispersal of the world’s only epiphytic gymnosperm: Zamia pseudoparasitica - Wiley Online Library
  7. ^ Nicolalde-Morejón, F., A. P. Vovides & D. W. Stevenson. 2009. Taxonomic revision of Zamia in Mega-Mexico. Brittonia 61(4): 301–335.
  8. ^ Armstrong, W.P. (2008-04-03). "Botanical Record-Breakers (Part 1 of 2)". Wayne's Word. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  9. ^ "Zamia — The Plant List". Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  10. ^ "Zamia nana at The World List of Cycads".

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lindström, A.J. and Idárraga, Á. (2009). Zamia incognita (Zamiaceae): the exciting discovery of a new gymnosperm from Colombia. Phytotaxa 2: 29-34.


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