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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Zamia furfuracea

English names: cardboard palm, cardboard cycad

Latin name: Zamia furfuracea

Family: Zamiaceae/Zamiaceae

Origin: Eastern Mexico

The cardboard palm has a short trunk, up to 20 cm. tall and broad, usually marked by the visible scars of old, fallen leaves. Along with its leaves, it grows up to 1.3 metres tall with a span of 2 metres. The leaves grow from the stems, reaching 50 to 150 cm. in length. They consist of a petiole 15-30 cm. long, each with six to twelve pairs of stiff, fuzzy leaves. The leaves are 8 to 20 cm. long and 3 to 5 cm. wide. The cardboard palm is dioecious (separate male and female specimens); the inflorescence of the female specimens is a brown cone. The cones on male specimens are oval-shaped and smaller.

 All parts of the plant are poisonous to animals and people. Ingestion may lead to liver and kidney failure, as well as to paralysis. The body becomes dehydrated very quickly. There are no known ways to treat the poisoning.

Zamia furfuracea