Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia furfuracea

Zamia furfuracea L. f., "in Aiton, Hortus Kew. 3: 477" (1789).
"TYPE: the illustration: Palma americana crassis rigidisque foliis, pl. 210, in Herm., Paradisus Batavus, 1698 (fide Stevenson & Sabato 1986)."

Zamia furfuracea var. trewii A. DC., Prodr. 16(2): 541 (1868).

"TYPE: the illustration: Palmifolia fructu clavato polypireno [polyspermo], C.J. Trew, Pl. Select., t. 26, 1752 (fide Stevenson (holo G; typo BM) & Sabato 1986)"

[Zamia furfuracea var. obovata Wendl. ex J. Schust., "in Engl., Pflanzenr. 4(1): 143" (1932), nom. nud.]

Etymology: In reference to the persistent short brown hairs on the leaflets.

Historical notes:

Distinguishing features: Extremely coriaceous leaflets with persistent short hairs at maturity.

Distribution and habitat: Southeastern Veracruz, Mexico. Growing from sea level to 200 m in generally arid thorn scrub to sandy soils and in limestone sea cliffs.

Conservation status: Locally quite abundant and producing copious quantities of seed. Threatened only by habitat destruction except in cliffside populations which seem to be safe. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category V,II,V.
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stem subterranean to shortly epigeous in older plants to decumbent in cliff dwelling plants, globose to cylindrical, to 20 cm diam.

Cataphylls broadly expanded basally, lanceolate and acuminate apically, 4-5 cm long and 2-3 cm wide. or acicular and 7-10 cm long and 2-3 cm wide.

Leaves 6-30(40), 0.5-1.5 m long; petiole 15-30 cm long, sparsely to densely prickled; rachis with 6-12 pairs of leaflets.

Leaflets oblong or oblanceolate to obovate, cuneate basally, broadly acute to blunt apically, strongly to extremely coriaceous, densely pubescent (especially adaxially) when mature, margins serrate in upper third, the larger median ones 8-20 cm long, 3-5 cm wide.

Pollen cones 1-6, tan to brown, cylindrical to ovoid-cylindrical, acute apically, 8-12 (15) cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm diam.; peduncle 2-6 cm long.

Seed cones tan to dark brown, cylindrical to ovoid-cylindrical, acute apically, 10-20(25) cm long, 5-78 cm diam.; peduncle 15-20 cm long.

Seeds red, 0.7-1 cm long, 0.3-0.5 cm diam.

2n = 18.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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