Monday, September 8, 2008

Zamia integrifolia

Family: Zamiaceae •
Genus: Zamia •
Species: integrifolia •
Country of Origin: Native to Florida •
Common Names: Coontie, Florida Arrowroot, Wild Sago •

This is my little coontie, it is endemic to this area. It was also native in southern Puerto Rico and Haiti, but appears to have been extirpated from those areas due to intensive land use.1 It was going extinct here but rebounded when people stopped using it as a food source. Florida's indigenous peoples and later European settlers processed the coontie's large storage root to extract an edible starch. For this reason the coontie was often commonly called Seminole bread during the late 1800s.2 Mine is growing under my 'Ghost' Bamboo and has really taken off since I put it in the ground this year. What you see is the female flower. This species is dioecious, having male or female reproductive parts (called "cones") present on separate plants3 This plant is also the larval plant of the Atala butterfly Eumaeus atala.

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Zamia integrifolia by Eric Bronson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at


Anonymous said...'s a cycad.... really neat plant! Thanks for posting about it.