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Macrozamia riedlei

A medium sized Australian cycad with a thick trunk shaped like a barrel. It has attractive upright leaves, with narrowly spaced leaflets dark green or glaucous in colour. Suitable for well drained sites in temperate or subtropical areas and will tolerate cool conditions in winter, as well as moderate frosts.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I've found the small seeds of this species relatively easy to germinate. I use coarse grained perlite and place the seed so that the long axis is vertical and half bury the wider end of the seed, where the root will eventually emerge from. I then place the seeds in a heated propagator with a temperature of 25-30c and mist occasionally with warm water. I also ventilate frequently to allow air movement and remove excessive wetness from the germination environment, reducing the risk of rot. I check the buried end of the seed regularly for germination and as soon as germination is noticed, remove and pot on into a deep pot filled with very free draining cactus compost. I received a germination rate of 2 out of 2 for this species, so it would appear to have a high germination rate!
Submitted on 18/01/2009 by James Barnet

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I planted 10 seeds 1/2 burried in a single pot with a 50% sand 50% high end soil mix. Kept moist but not wet in our Texas humid, heat. This summer temps have been in the high 90's with 85-100% humidity. 3 sprouted in week two. By 6 weeks 8 have sprouted and I have not given up on the other two. I have never had any problem germinating Macrozamias at all and think the family as a general rule germinate very well with high percentage of seeds becoming seedlings. George in San Antonio
Submitted on 11/09/2007 by George C. Eggleston II geggleston@satx.rr.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
This is not a hard cycad to grow at all, and I don't believe they are hard to germinate, but they are very slow growing (two fronds a year). I noticed a naturally occuring stand of Macrozamia riedlei in the university grounds here in Perth, Western Australia. Collected 11 stray seeds from the ground around these cycads; some looked quite aged, while others may have been only months old. All seeds had their outer flesh removed by scraping on strong wire mesh and some washing. After soaking for 5 days in water the seeds were planted in a coarse washed sand in an ice cream container (lid sealed) and kept just moist. The seeds were placed with approximately 30% of one end exposed out of the medium. With ambient day temperatures of 22-30 and night temps at 12-18 degrees celsius, seven seeds had germinated (but two subsequently rotted) in just over two months. Gave up with the rest and threw them away. As soon as you see the embryos push out from the seed about a centimetre, they are ready to pot up facing side down with the embryo pointing down into the soil. I potted mine into potting mix with some handfulls of perlite added and they are doing fine with very little attention! But they MUST have a well drained soil (usually seen growing in sandy or gravelly soil) and definitely prefer the surface of the medium to dry out between waterings (overwatering will cause Phytophora root rot problems). Don't use a high phosphorous fertiliser as it causes toxicity. Those in cold climates may find this a good addition to a dry conservatory. I have seen them tolerate -3 degrees celsius further inland (Collie) in our cold, wet winters with absolutely no damage at all.
Submitted on 07/02/2040 by Matt Rumenos rumey_jr1@hotmail.com

...difficult to germinate.
I've been here (Western Australia) 20 years and seen Macrozamia riedlei form fruiting heads many times, rarely do the seeds germinate - mostly they are eaten by Bandicoots and other animals. However last summer we had a bush fire and this winter just gone saw baby Zamias "jumping out of the ground" everywhere. The seed has a very hard and thick coat which is cracked by the temporary heat of a bush fire passing. That allows the hundreds of generally poisonous gasses released in a bush fire to enter the seed. It is well know locally that many difficult to germinate species require these conditions to trigger germination. Work done at the Kings Park herbarium in Perth has demonstrated how important to gemination the process of cracking the coats of hard seeds followed by immersion in dense bush fire smoke is to the germination process. Actual germination takes place when winter rains follow - up to 3 or 4 months after a bush fire. The seed must be viable for many years for the germination effect I saw last winter to have taken place. Less dramatic ways of "cracking the outer shell" are use of power tools such as angle grinders or even sandpaper. However with the zamia I doubt sandpaper would be very effective at penetrating to the seed. Smoke is still an important ingredient for sucessfull germination. A bush fire usually passes in 30 to 60 minutes - seed lying on the ground would not be consumed but would be heated sufficiently to do the job of cracking. Dense smoke would vary from a few minutes to a few hours although many fires smoulder overnight releasing smoke and volatiles essential for germination.
Submitted on 02/21/2003 by Tom Barrett tombarrett1948@hotmail.com

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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