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Zamia imperialis

Imperial Zamia

This marvelous, medium-sized cycad is the most spectacular in a group of newly described species that also includes Z. hamanii and Z. nesophila, all formerly considered to be Zamia skinneri. The trunk rarely grows taller than one meter (three feet) and typically holds 3 or rarely up to 12 arching leaves to 2.5 m (8 ft.) long with around 5 pairs of giant, pleated (grooved), thick, leathery leaflets to 75 cm (30 in.) long and 21 cm (8 in.) wide--perhaps the largest of any cycad. The new flush is a stunning coppery red. Zamia imperialis is native to the dark understorey of rainforests on loamy, humus-rich soils in Coclé Province in central Panama from sea level up to about 600 m (2000 ft.). Its remaining populations are small and scattered and under threat from habitat destruction and machete injuries as the plant's prickly petioles are considered a bit of a nuisance. Plants cone very rarely and seeds are consequently extremely difficult to obtain. Only very few plants are found in cultivation. They will do best in a tropical or frost free warm temperate climate.

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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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