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Zamia furfuracea L. f. ex Aiton

Cardboard palm

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
GenusZamiaCycads with palmlike circular stems; from the Greek azaniae, “pine nut”
SpeciesfurfuraceaFrom Latin furfuracea, “mealy” or “scurfy”

About plant names...

Cardboard palm is a native of Mexico. It is a member of the cycad family, and a popular cultivated plant.

Identification: Cardboard palm has leaves 20-59" (50-150 cm) emerging from a central point in the ground, forming a rosette. It can reach 3' (91 cm) in height. The leaves are tough, thick, and fuzzy, composed of 6 to 12 pairs of leaflets up to 3-8" (8-20 cm) × 1-1¾" (3-5 cm). The leaves feel a bit like cardboard when rubbed, hence the common name.

Online References:

Zamia furfuracea f. ex on floridata.com

Zamia furfuracea f. ex on Wikipedia

Zamia furfuracea f. ex on Cal Lamke's Cal's Plant of the Week, at the University of Oklahoma's Department of Botany and Microbiology

Zamia furfuracea f. ex on ARKive: Images of Life on Earth

Zamia furfuracea


Zamia furfuracea f. ex description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Zamia furfuracea (cardboard palm)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, Cali­fornia
≈ 4 × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Range: Zones 9-11:

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