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TROPICAL PLANT CATALOG Printer friendly page  

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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 Zamia furfuracea
Family: Zamiaceae
Cycad, Cardboard Palm
Origin: Southeastern Veracruz, Mexico
Can be used for bonsaiSmall shrub 2-5 ftSemi-shadeModerate waterOrnamental foliagePalm or palm-likeSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

This is a "living fossil" plant, surviving on earth since the time of the dinosaurs. Cardboard Palm belongs to the Cycad family (cycad is greek for "palm" which many cycads resemble). Other cycads include Coontie Palm and Sago Palm (neither of these are really palms!) Cardboard Palm has 3 to 4 foot leaves that emerge from a central point forming a rosette. When grown in bright sunlight the rosette becomes a 3 foot high clump of tightly overlapping leaves that will slowly grow to 6 feet in diameter. The thick leathery leaves are pinnate and have 5 inch long by 1 inch wide oval leaflets. They are slightly fuzzy and feel a little like cardboard when rubbed (hence the name Cardboard Palm!) The foliage emerges from a thick fleshy trunk that serves as a water reservoir in times of drought. Male and female reproductive structures (cones) form on separate plants. Even very young plants produce these interestingly shaped cones. When ripe, the female cone breaks to reveal an array of tightly packed, bright red 1 inch seeds. Location Cardboard Palm is native to the warm sandy coastal plains of Mexico and is a common landscape item in tropical and sub-tropical areas all over the world. It is also a popular and easy to grow houseplant. Plant in neutral, well-drained sandy soil. Mulch with organic materials (bark or leaf mold). Sustains leaf damage at 28 degrees F. Cardboard palm makes a great accent or specimen plant. Use near the patio, in mixed foundation plantings or in perennial beds. This cycad is salt resistant and can be used in beachside plantings. Also makes a great container plant for the patio or deck. It is a great houseplant tough enough to survive occasional neglect and harsh indoor environments. Large outdoor clumps are striking as the light olive green new growth emerges to hover above a base of darker mature leaves. Specimens can be grown indoors in shallow containers. Used this way, the partially exposed tuberous stem and the airy crown of leaves create a striking bonsai specimen. With it beautiful shape, exotic looking cones and instinct for survival, Cardboard Palm is one of the favorite indoor plants.


Similar plants:

 Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Zamia furfuracea, Cycad, Cardboard Palm

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Edwin Almodovar
Dorado, PR
29 Apr 2013
This suplier has neglected to mention that all parts of this plant are poisonous to animals and humans. The toxicity causes liver and kidney failure, as well as eventual paralysis. Dehydration sets in very quickly. No treatment for the poisoning is currently known.

In addition, this plant is been classified as threatened and endangered.
Donna G.
Cool, CA USA
USDA Zone:9
3 Jun 2008
After recently buying one, I have now learned the seed pods of this plant are toxic to dogs and other animals who may ingest them. In fairly small quantities this can cause severe liver damage and death to your dog. This is not mentioned at all in the above information so please consider this when adding this plant to your landscape or home environment.
Rev. Jeff W. Rumble
Whittier, CA
USDA Zone:10a
20 Apr 2005
Houseplant? When I tried to grow one of these as a houseplant, the new leaves stretched out way too long because it wasn't getting enough light. On the other hand, the same plant has now been growing outside year-round in the Los Angeles area for the last 3 years. It is in a large pot which sits on a small garden pillar next to the house. It gets full, blazing hot, afternoon sun with low humidity in the Summertime. In these conditions it is beautiful and apparently happy.


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