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Zamia pseudoparasitica

Epiphytic Zamia

A most unusual and rare, epiphytic cycad from Panama, where it grows on the branches of large atlantic-coastal rainforest trees between near sea level and 1000 m (3300 ft.). Its short trunk holds a crown of up to 10, usually drooping, flat, yellowish-green leaves to 3 m (10 ft.) long. In cultivation this cycad prefers a protected spot out of full sun. In a humid, tropical climate, it will thrive in the garden right on a large, established tree. In all other climates it will do best in a wire or a large orchid basket, rooted in a coarse, very open and freely draining mixture, such as one commonly used for epiphytic orchids containing pine bark, sphagnum, peanut shells, tree fern fibers, cork pieces, charcoal, perlite, pumice or styrofoam. It must be repotted before the mixture breaks down, taking great care of the brittle roots. Z. pseudoparasitica tolerates cool periods but no frost.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are average to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
My method to germinate Pseudoparasitica seeds is to use a very light, well draining orchid mix. I made my own out of fine fir bark, fine tree fern fiber, small charcoal, perlite, peat, and cut up New Zealand spagnum. After removing the sarcotesta, I soaked the seeds over night before planting them. I placed the seeds in 4 inch plastic pots on top of the mix. I placed the pots in a tray and hung it in my outdoor orchid area where it is shady, moist but airy. I am in Florida so I used the outdoors but other airy, well drained areas would work as well. All of the seeds germinated within a week and are doing well. Because my mix is so well drained, I mist the seeds daily.
Submitted on 22/02/2011 by Betty Ahlborn

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
After seeds flesh rotted, germination started smoothly under warm temperature, over 20C. Ratio of sprouting was approx. 75% or more.
Submitted on 23/06/2010 by HIROSHI YABE

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
all seeds are cleaned for the yellow flesh, soaked In water for 24 hours,then the seeds was placed In coconut fiber(cocochump) In a warm box 30-32 degrees celcious, and 10 out of 10 seeds sprouted after 3 weeks.
Submitted on 12/03/2010 by Kenn Jacobsen

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
The 10 Zamia pseudoparasitica seeds i received from rarepalmseeds were of excellent quality,stored with the fruit to prevent germination and keep freshness! After carefully cleaning them from fruit(their micropyle end is fragile and its protection can peel of easily... )i soaked the intact seeds for a day while i sowed a germinating seed in perlite(50% wet perlite mixed with 50% dry to create a properly humid but not wet environment)in ziplock bag at room temprature(about 20C). The next day,one of thw soaking seeds had already germinated in the water and i sowed the all on perlite in the ziplock bag i had prepared and sown the previous germinating seed. I got 90% germination(1 rotted but viability was 100%,it did had embryo and begun germinating but rotted due to another nearby Cycas seed that fungused badly)in a few weeks with most germinating the first week i got them! I love Zamia seeds!!!!I am now growing up the already flushing seedlings in cups of pure perlite and plan on mounting them on trees in my garden,sprayed dailly by sprinklers.
Submitted on 26/02/2010 by Konstantinos Giannopoulos

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Coastal Los Angeles in USA they need much care and grow slow.
Since this is the only epiphytic cycad, the growing conditions are a little different for this Zamia. It is also not ideally suited for non-tropical conditions, so the cold tolerance is limited. Mine is planted in a hanging basket that is lined with staghorn (platycerium) ferns that create a cup. The Zamia is planted in the center of this cup surrounded by coarse sphagnum peat moss mixed 50:50 with pumice. This combination achieves some limited constant moisture, but the roots do not get soaked continuously. Mine is kept outdoors in a semi-shaded location, and it is watered 3 times a week. During the coldest part of the year, it is brought indoors to avoid exposure to low 40's F. and below.
Submitted on 15/10/2013 by Greg Ginsburg

... are of excellent ornamental value
In Bangkok in Thailand they need average care and grow normal.
This species was always said to be a difficult species to grow, however I found it's somewhat easy, as long as you can provide appropriate condition. I grow mine in hanging orchid clay pot using pure and only sphagnum moss as a potting media, keep them in shade house under 50% day light intensity net, watering once or twice daily and using slow-released fertilizer from time to time. With these conditions, the 2 leaves-seedlings I got since 2002 turns out to be 6 inches plants with over 4 feets long leaves.
Submitted on 06/05/2010 by Chanrit Sinhabaedya

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

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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