Photo Dennis Stevenson
The Cycad Pages
Zamia angustifolia

Zamia angustifolia Jacq., "Collectanea 3: 263, pl. 636" (1789). pl. 636
"TYPE: the illustration: Icon. Pl. Rar. 3: t. 20, 1791."

Etymology: Originally intended to refer to the very narrow leaflets but angustifolia actually refers to the leaves and in this case is somewhat of a misnomer because the leaves are not really narrow for Zamia (although the leaflets are).

Historical notes: The original description is accompanied by an exquisite colour plate.

Distinguishing features: Z. angustifolia has the most narrow leaflets of any species of Zamia and also has very dark gray to black cones.

Distribution and habitat: One of the Caribbean species of Zamia that is found only in the Bahamas on Eleuthera and New Providence Islands and in eastern Cuba growing on dry limestone soils.

Conservation status: Z. angustifolia has become very rare in the Bahamas in part to development but also as a result local habitat degradation. Its status in Cuba is unknown. 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Category R,II,V.
Photo Dennis Stevenson


Stem subterranean and tuberous, often dichotomously branched, wrinkled and devoid of old leaf bases.

Cataphylls from 1-2 cm long, sheathing at first, with a pair of inconspicuous stipules.

Leaves generally few 2-10; petioles with stipules, smooth; rachis bearing 5-30 pairs of opposite to subopposite leaflets, smooth.

Leaflets linear 8-25 cm long and 0.2-0.5 cm wide, rounded apically, with 1-3 indistinct teeth at the apex.

Pollen cones pedunculate, dark grey to black, 1-10, cylindrical but gradually tapering towards acute apex, each 3-15 cm long and 0.8-2 cm in diameter, densely pubescent.

Seed cones dark grey or dark brown to black, usually solitary but occasionally up to 3, cylindrical to slightly ovoid with blunt or slightly acute apex, each 6-12 cm long and 4-5 cm in diameter, densely pubescent.

Seeds with a red to orange-red sarcotesta, ovoid, 1-2 cm long.

2n = 16.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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