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Ceratozamia hildae G.P.Landry & M.C.Wilson

Bamboo cycad

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionCycadophytaAll cycads—primitive palm-like plants
OrderCycadalesLiving cycads (most are extinct)
FamilyZamiaceaeCycas that are superficially palm- or fernlike
GenusCeratozamiaFrom the Greek ceras, “horn,” which refers to the paired, spreading horny projections on the male and female sporophylls of all species
SpecieshildaeFor Hilda Geissmann, who contributed to nature study in Queensland, Australia

About plant names...

Natives of Mexico (and now critically endangered there due to habitat loss), bamboo cycads don't look very much like most other cycads. They come from a deciduous cloud forest around San Luis Potosi and Quiretaro in eastern Mexico, between elevations of 2953-3937′ (900-1200 m). They are not found in the wild in the United States, but they are fairly common in gardens.

Identification: These cycads grow up to 4′ (1.2 m) high. Male cones are up to 1′ (30 cm) in length x 1½″ (3.8 cm) around and yellowish brown; female cones are somewhat shorter and wider, nearly cylindrical, and olive green. Each stem is up to 4′ (1.2 m) long, with 20-50 leaflets. Each leaflet is 4-10″ (10-25 cm) long.

Online References:

The Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia

The Gymnosperm Database

The Palm & Cycad Society of Florida’s Plant to Palm site


Www.cycad.org (PDF)


Ceratozamia hildae description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Ceratozamia hildae (bamboo cycad)

2/26/2010 · San Diego Zoo, San Diego, Cali­fornia · ≈ 6½ × 4′ (2.0 × 1.3 m)

Range: Zones 9-11:

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