Common name(s): Cardboard Palm, Coontie Palm, Florida Arrowroot, Sago Zamia, Jamaica Sago Tree, Comfort Root

Scientific name: Zamia pumila

Plant family: ZAMIACEAE

Origin: Native

Description: A low-growing evergreen woody plant with compound leaves that grow from a thick underground stem. Grows 1-3 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide. The plant has reddish brown, fleshy, seed-bearing cones. These cones are pendant when mature and covered with dark-brown hairs.

Growing Conditions: Prefers sandy to sandy loam soils in full sun to partial shade. The plant is drought and salt tolerant. It has better cold tolerance than most other cycads and is dioecious, which means it requires a nearby male to produce seeds.

Wildlife: Seeds provide food for mockingbirds, blue jays, and many other birds as well as insects and small mammals. No serious pest or disease issues.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens:

Location in Gardens: G7

Additional Information: Zamia pumila is the only species of this genus that grows in the United States. Its unique growth habit is ideally suited for use as a specimen or container planting. This plant is poisonous, producing a toxin called cycasin that affects the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. 

In Honor of: Frank Richie