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Zamia pumila is a clumping cycad native to the Dominican Republic. Over time, it forms a multi-branched cluster, with large, tuberous root system, which is actually an extension of the above-ground stems.
Its synonym (at least in Florida) has been Z. dominiquensis, in part, to differentiate it from the more common Florida native “Coontie”, Zamia floridana. The Dominican plant grows larger leaves and leaflets than Z. floridana. Its leaves are also more upright, as opposed to Z. floridana, whose leaves are more lax and procumbent. Further, Z. pumila has reddish seed cones which taper to a distinct slender point, and leaflets with distinct teeth at their tips.
The habitat for Z. pumila appears to be limited to portions of Central Cuba and the Dominican Republic having been largely eradicated in Southern Puerto Rico and Haiti by population growth and farming efforts.
This species tends to grow faster than many other Zamias, developing into an attractive clumping plant over time. It does well in well-drained, sandy soil, and filtered light/partial shade.
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WHAT IS CAUDEX SIZE?
You’ll notice we list and price cycads by their caudex size (diameter in inches). The caudex is a cycad’s woody, bulblike trunk. Caudex diameter is a good measure of a cycad's age. The chart below can give you a rough idea of how this translates to pot size.
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