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Cardboard Palm

Scientifically known as Zamia furfuracea, cardboard palm is a native to southeastern Veracruz state in eastern Mexico. Although not exactly a palm tree, its growth habit is quite similar to a palm. Therefore it is commonly known as cardboard palm or cardboard cycad.

The plant has a short, subterranean trunk up to 20 cm broad and high. It is usually marked with scars from old leaf bases. Grows very slowly when young. But the growth rate accelerates after the trunk matures. The whole plant including leaves grows to 1.3 metres tall and about 2 meters wide.

The leaves emerge from the centre of the trunk. Each leaf is around 50–150 cm long. And has 6-12 pairs of extremely stiff, fuzzy green leaflets. Occasionally, the leaflets are toothed toward the tips. The circular crowns of leaves resemble a fern or palm fronds.

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  • Low maintenance ornamental plants.
  • Wide arching stems with sturdy herringboned leaves.
  • Fussy leaf surface with dissimilar patterns when young.
  • Suited for specimen planting, poolsides and containers.
  • Requires full sun to partly shaded areas.
  • Needs well-drained soils, sandy or grit filled.
  • Requires mulching and watering regularly till grown.
  • Prefers dry conditions during winters.
  • Use slow releasing fertilisers.

Stocks are available in Capalaba Nursery, Brisbane.


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