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Accepted Scientific Name: Zamia loddigesii Miq.
Tijdschr. Natuurl. Gesch. Physiol. 10: 72 (1843)
Photo by Cycad International. https://www.facebook.com/Cycads
Origin and Habitat: Zamia loddigesii is endemic to Mexico where it found on the Atlantic side of the Sierra Madre Oriental in Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco, Hidalgo, Chiapas and Tamaulipas states. It is also found in Belize and Guatemala. This species is known from hundreds of localities.
Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs from sea level to 1000 m in subtropical and warm temperate regions in low dry deciduous forest or semi-deciduous forests at mid elevations to cloud forest at higher elevations. Usually with oaks dominant. Plants also survive in disturbed sites. Plants generally prefers dry often sandy soils. This species has been affected as a result of habitat destruction due to agriculture and cattle ranching.
Zamia loddigesii Miq.
Tijdschr. Natuurl. Gesch. Physiol. 10: 72 (1843)
- Zamia loddigesii Miq.
- Palmifolium loddigesii (Miq.) Kuntze
- Zamia caracasana Lodd. ex Miq.
- Zamia eriolepis B.S.Williams
- Zamia farinosa Corda ex J.Schust.
- Zamia ferruginea J.Schust.
- Zamia gracilis Karw. ex J.Schust.
- Zamia lawsoniana Dyer in Hemsl.
- Zamia loddigesii var. angustifolia Regel
- Zamia leiboldii var. angustifolia (Regel) Regel
- Zamia loddigesii var. latifolia (Regel) J.Schust.
- Zamia loddigesii var. leiboldii (Miq.) A.DC.
- Zamia leiboldii Miq.
- Zamia loddigesii var. obtusifolia Regel
- Zamia mexicana Miq.
- Palmifolium mexicanum (Miq.) Kuntze
- Zamia nigra J.Schust.
- Zamia serrulata Lodd. ex Miq.
- Zamia sieboldii B.S.Williams
- Zamia spadicea Karw. ex J.Schust.
- Zamia sylvatica Chamb.
- Zamia terrestris Dyer in Hemsl.
NAHUATL (Nāhuatl): Teocinte, Teocintle (sacred ear; same name as Zea mays var. mexicana)
SPANISH (Español): Amigo del maíz( friend of maize), Palmiche (palmetto), Palmilla, Palmita (little palm)
Description: Zamia loddigesii is a small cycad with a subterranean caudex up to 12 cm in diameter. At first glance it could possibly be mistaken for a fern, although the leaf could also be considered palm-like. Over time, Zamia loddigesii forms large clusters, because it grows in a clumping habit (by offset) and does not form an above-ground trunk. The fronds
Distinguishing features: Zamia loddigesii is quite variable and perhaps one of the most difficult to characterize. It can be distinguished from Zamia furfuracea by not having obovate leaflets and lacking “fuzziness” at maturity. It also differs from Zamia paucijuga in having leathery, coriaceous leaflets that often appear somewhat glaucous.
Derivation of specific name: Zamia loddigesii is named in honour of Conrad Loddiges a London based supplier of exotic plants.
Trunk: Simple or branched, wrinkled, subterranean and tuberous, 5-12 cm in diameter and up to 20 cm tall.
Leaves (fronds): It usually has 2-6(-10) erect or slightly recurved fronds that tend to go all directions randomly, between 40 and 150 cm long with (3-)10-20 (27) pairs of linear-lanceolate to lanceolate leaflets 20-37 cm long, usually not exceeding 2 cm wide and spiny-toothed along the margins of their upper halves, apex acute to obtuse to attenuate. Leaflets are somewhat glaucous to deep green, subcoriaceous to coriaceous and lacks pubescence at maturity. Petiole sparsely to heavily prickled to 60 cm long. Rachis terete, rarely with a few prickles, to 1 metre long.
Cataphylls: The cataphylls (Modified leaf, much reduced and thickened, serving to protect the apical meristem in cycads produced in flushes preceding the emergence of cones or leaves.) are triangular basally, acuminate apically, 3-6 cm long, 1-2 cm wide.
Female cones: More often than not solitary about 8-12 cm long, 3-5 cm in diameter, cylindrical to slightly ovoid, light-brown to brown, acuminate apically. Peduncle 4-10 cm long.
Pollen cones: 2-6, cylindrical, cream to light brown, 6-10 cm long, 1-2 cm in diameter; peduncle 10-20 cm long.
Seeds: Red, ovoid, 3 cm long, 2 cm in diameter.
Chromosome number: 2n = 18.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Wikipedia contributors. "Zamia loddigesii." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
2) Chemnick, J. & Gregory, T. 2010. Zamia loddigesii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 November 2014.
3) Cheryll Williams “Medicinal Plants in Australia” Volume 3: Plants, Potions and Poisons. Rosenberg Publishing, 01/Jul/2012
4) Thomas H. Everett “The New York Botanical Garden Illustrated Encyclopedia of Horticulture” Volume 10 Taylor & Francis, 1982
5) The Cycad Pages “Zamia loddigesii” Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010 Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012 >http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au> Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
6) Terrence Walters, Roy Osborne “Cycad Classification: Concepts and Recommendations” CABI, 12/gen/2004
7) Haynes J.L, “World List of Cycads: A Historical Review” IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group, 2012
8) Jones, D.L. “Cycads of the World.” 2nd edn. Reed, Sydney. 2002.
9) Norstog, K.J. and Nichols, T.J. “The Biology of the Cycads.” Cornell University Press, Ithaca.1997
10) Whitelock, L.M. “The Cycads.” Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. 2002
11) "Zamia loddigesii". In: Cycads. Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia (PACSOA). 25 November 2013 Web. 18 Nov. 2014
12) “Zamia loddigesii Plants” Cycads.com, Jurassic Garden, A&A Cycads and Maurice Levin <http://www.cycadpalm.com> Web. 18 Nov. 2014
13) “Cycads in the Vernacular.” <http://ntweb.deltastate.edu/mbonta/Vernacular_Cycads.htm>
Cultivation and Propagation: Zamia loddigesii is an easy to grow and popular plant in cultivation. Because of its ruggedness, low maintenance and drought tolerance. It is pest and disease resistant, and grows well with minimal fertilizer. One of the more hardy and cold-tolerant Mexican Zamias. It is also cultivated as an indoor plant in temperate countries.
Growth rate: Usually slow growing, however good conditions can speed it up considerably.
Exposition: It prefers bright light exposure but colour bleaches when in full sun; best with some protection from afternoon heat but not in constant deep shade.
Soil: Needs a neutral, well drained sandy soil spot, with deep soil, but will still thrive in less than ideal conditions. Mulch with organic materials (bark or leaf mould).
Moisture: Water when dry. Drought tolerant.
Fertilization. Because of its growth habit, fertilize only when terminal bud begins to swell, indicating the start of the annual growth cycle.
Hardiness: It should be protected from extreme cold. (USDA Zones 9-11) Sustains leaf damage at -2° C.
Maintenance: Minimal; removal of offsets if desired, removal of spent fronds
Use: Landscape as cultivated perennial in warm areas, it makes a great accent or specimen plant. Several can be planted together for a lush, tropical effect. Plant on three to five-foot-centers to create a mass planting. Use near the patio, in mixed foundation plantings or in perennial beds. It is a spectacular house-plant or interior-scape specimen in cool areas tough enough to survive occasional neglect and harsh indoor environments. It is very well suited to bonsai culture.
Warning: All parts of the 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. Poisonous Parts: Fleshy seeds, leaves. Protect pets and instruct children to never eat or chew any plant material without permission.
Propagation: Seeds. The germination process is very slow and difficult to achieve in cultivation, after fertile seeds are collected, they usually need several months of storage before the inner embryo is ready to germinate. Therefore, it is best to clean the seeds of external fruit and set them aside before attempting to propagate the seeds. Seeds should be sown in shallow container, lightly covered with sand, and after germination, potted off in small pots of moderately rich, light soil. The growing plants do best in partial shade. The old plants frequently send up suckers around the base of the trunk. These may be taken off when in a dormant state and rooted, care being taken to remove the leaves to guard against excessive transpiration. The advantage of the "pups" is that you will know its sex, for seedlings you will have to wait several years until the plant flowers to find out.
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