Zamia integrifolia

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Coontie, Arrowroot


Also known as Zamia pumila, Zamia floridana

Plant Specifics

Size:2-3 ft tall by 3-5 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:NA
Fruit Color:Orange,brown
Phenology:Evergreen. Long-lived.
Noted for:Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:

Specimen plant or mass planting in border.


Grows slowly.

Seeds, foliage, and roots are toxic.


Seed and root division

Availability:Friends, Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries, Seed
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Tolerant of inundation with brackish water
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Acidic to circum-neutral



Larval host for the rare atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala florida) which is restricted to South Florida and the echo moth (Sierarctia echo).  

Native Habitats:

Upland hardwood forests, high pine, coastal hammocks, shell middens.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures



Used by the Indians as a source of starch. Also for many years this starch was used in the making of Animal Crackers. Read more about this in 1995 Palmetto article by Roger Hammer:

General Comments:

Although palm-like in appearance, this is a cycad, a primitive group of non-flowering plants. It is listed as commercially exploited by the state of Florida.