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Zamia furfuracea
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Gymnospermae
Division: Cycadophyta
Class: Cycadopsida
Order: Cycadales
Family: Zamiaceae
Subtribe: Zamiinae
Genus: Zamia
Type species
Zamia pumila
  • Aulacophyllum Regel
  • Chigua D.W.Stev.
  • Palmifolium Kuntze
  • Palma-filix Adans.

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 of the 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]

Zamia furfuracea leaves

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.


Accepted species:[9]

Phylogeny of Zamia[10][11]
  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 bussellii Schutzman et al.
  7. Zamia chigua Seem. - Colombia
  8. Zamia cremnophila Vovides, Schutzman & Dehgan - Tabasco, Mexico
  9. Zamia cunaria Dressler & D.W.Stev. - Panama
  10. Zamia decumbens Calonje, Meerman, M.P. Griff. & Hoese - Belize
  11. Zamia disodon D.W.Stev. & Sabato - Colombia
  12. Zamia dressleri D.W.Stev. - Panama
  13. Zamia elegantissima Schutzman, Vovides & R.S.Adams - Panama
  14. Zamia encephalartoides D.W. Stev. - Colombia
  15. Zamia erosa O.F.Cook & G.N.Collins - Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico
  16. Zamia fairchildiana L.D.Gómez - Panama, Costa Rica
  17. Zamia fischeri Miq. ex Lem. - Mexico (San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Tamaulipas)
  18. Zamia furfuracea L.f. - cardboard palm - Mexico (Veracruz)
  19. Zamia gentryi Dodson Ecuador
  20. Zamia gomeziana R.H.Acuña - Costa Rica
  21. Zamia grijalvensis Pérez-Farr., Vovides & Mart.-Camilo - Mexico (Chiapas)
  22. Zamia hamannii A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  23. Zamia herrerae Calderón & Standl. - Mexico (Chiapas), El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras
  24. Zamia huilensis Calonje, H.E.Esquivel & D.W.Stev. Colombia
  25. Zamia hymenophyllidia D.W.Stev. - Colombia, Peru
  26. Zamia imbricata Calonje & Castro
  27. Zamia imperialis A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  28. Zamia incognita A.Lindstr. & Idárraga - Colombia
  29. Zamia inermis Vovides, J.D.Rees & Vázq.Torres - Mexico (Veracruz)
  30. Zamia integrifolia L.f. - coontie palm/Florida arrowroot - United States (Florida, Georgia), Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Puerto Rico
  31. Zamia ipetiensis D.W.Stev. - Panama
  32. Zamia katzeriana (Regel) E.Rettig - Mexico
  33. Zamia lacandona Schutzman & Vovides - Mexico (Chiapas)
  34. Zamia lecointei Ducke - Brazil (Pará), Venezuela, Colombia, Peru
  35. Zamia lindenii Regel ex André - Peru, Ecuador
  36. Zamia lindleyi Warsz. ex A.Dietr. - Panama
  37. Zamia lindosensis Stevenson, Cárdenas & Castaño
  38. Zamia loddigesii Miq. Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Quintana Roo, Yucatán
  39. Zamia lucayana Britton - Bahamas
  40. Zamia macrochiera D.W.Stev. - Peru
  41. Zamia manicata Linden ex Regel - Panama, Colombia
  42. Zamia meermanii Calonje - Belize
  43. Zamia melanorrhachis D.W.Stev. - Colombia
  44. Zamia montana A.Braun - Colombia
  45. Zamia monticola Chamb. - Guatemala
  46. Zamia muricata Willd. - Colombia, Venezuela
  47. Zamia nana A.Lindstr., Calonje, D.W.Stev. & A.S.Taylor Panama[12]
  48. Zamia nesophila A.S.Taylor, J.L.Haynes & Holzman - Panama
  49. Zamia neurophyllidia D.W.Stev. - Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
  50. Zamia obliqua A.Braun - Colombia
  51. Zamia onan-reyesii C.Nelson & Sandoval - Honduras
  52. Zamia oreillyi C.Nelson - Honduras
  53. Zamia paucifoliolata Calonje
  54. Zamia paucijuga Wieland - Mexico (Guerrero, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca)
  55. Zamia poeppigiana Mart. & Eichler - Bolivia, Brazil (Acre)
  56. Zamia portoricensis Urb. - Puerto Rico
  57. Zamia prasina W.Bull - Belize, Mexico (Tabasco, Yucatán)
  58. Zamia pseudomonticola L.D.Gómez - Panama, Costa Rica
  59. Zamia pseudoparasitica Yates - Panama
  60. Zamia pumila L. - guáyara / Dominican zamia - Hispaniola (Dominican Republic), possibly Cuba; possibly extirpated in Puerto Rico and Haiti
  61. Zamia purpurea Vovides, J.D.Rees & Vázq.Torres - Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca)
  62. Zamia pygmaea Sims - Cuba
  63. Zamia pyrophylla Calonje, D.W.Stev. & A.Lindstr. - Colombia
  64. Zamia restrepoi (D.W.Stev.) A.Lindstr. - Colombia
  65. Zamia roezlii Regel ex Linden - Colombia, Ecuador
  66. Zamia sandovalii C.Nelson - Honduras
  67. Zamia sinuensis Calonje & Castro
  68. Zamia skinneri Warsz. ex A.Dietr. - Panama
  69. Zamia soconuscensis Schutzman, Vovides & Dehgan - Mexico (Chiapas)
  70. Zamia spartea A.DC. in A.P.de Candolle - Mexico (Oaxaca)
  71. Zamia standleyi Schutzman - Guatemala, Honduras
  72. Zamia stenophyllidia Nicolalde-Morejón, Martínez-Domínguez & Stevenson
  73. Zamia stevensonii A.S.Taylor & Holzman Panama
  74. Zamia stricta Miq. - Cuba
  75. Zamia tolimensis Calonje, H.E.Esquivel & D.W.Stev - Colombia
  76. Zamia tuerckheimii Donn.Sm. - Guatemala
  77. Zamia ulei Dammer - Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil
  78. Zamia urep B.Walln. - Peru
  79. Zamia variegata Warsz. - Mexico (Chiapas), Belize, Guatemala
  80. Zamia vazquezii D.W.Stev., Sabato & De Luca - Mexico (Veracruz)
  81. Zamia verschaffeltii Miq. - Mexico (Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas)
  82. 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. ^ Monteza-Moreno, Claudio M.; Rodriguez-Castro, Lilisbeth; Castillo-Caballero, Pedro L.; Toribio, Edgar; Saltonstall, Kristin (2022). "Arboreal camera trapping sheds light on seed dispersal of the world's only epiphytic gymnosperm: Zamia pseudoparasitica". Ecology and Evolution. 12 (3): e8769. Bibcode:2022EcoEv..12E8769M. doi:10.1002/ece3.8769. PMC 8948316. PMID 35356569.
  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. Archived from the original on 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  9. ^ "Zamia — The Plant List". www.theplantlist.org. Retrieved 2019-06-04.
  10. ^ Stull, Gregory W.; Qu, Xiao-Jian; Parins-Fukuchi, Caroline; Yang, Ying-Ying; Yang, Jun-Bo; Yang, Zhi-Yun; Hu, Yi; Ma, Hong; Soltis, Pamela S.; Soltis, Douglas E.; Li, De-Zhu; Smith, Stephen A.; Yi, Ting-Shuang; et al. (2021). "Gene duplications and phylogenomic conflict underlie major pulses of phenotypic evolution in gymnosperms". Nature Plants. 7 (8): 1015–1025. bioRxiv 10.1101/2021.03.13.435279. doi:10.1038/s41477-021-00964-4. PMID 34282286. S2CID 232282918.
  11. ^ Stull, Gregory W.; et al. (2021). "main.dated.supermatrix.tree.T9.tre". Figshare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.14547354.v1. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "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.