Controversy has long existed over the classification of Zamia in Florida ; at one extreme all the American populations have been included in a broadly defined Zamia pumila  and at the other several species have been recognized under various names e. Genetically, the differences between populations cannot be explained by habitat variability. Studies conducted by Ward  showed that five different Florida populations of Z.
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The plant has critical importance to the Eumaeus atala butterfly. The butterfly, thought extinct until recently, is dependent for its survival on the Zamia integrifolia , as well as several other species of Zamia. At the larval stage, the Eumaeus atala caterpillar exclusively eats the leaves of the coontie.
A half dozen caterpillars can completely strip a coontie bare and a large coontie population is needed to sustain the Eumaeus atala population. Mealybug destroyers, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri , are commonly found on Z.
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They form a mutualistic relationship by providing the plant protection from pests in exchange for food. They feed on the coonties' natural enemies, scales and mealybugs, thereby reducing the need for pesticides. All parts of Zamia integrifolia are toxic to humans if eaten raw,  although Black Seminoles were known to strain it.
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Three of the most common pests of Z. When infested, the plant's growth is stunted, and it becomes covered with blackish mold. Infestations are not limited to one species; several species can be found on the same plant. Since Z.
It forms a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria, which live in specialized roots called coralloid roots and are green in color despite not actively photosynthesizing. This zone is transversed and connected by elongated Zamia cells. The cones, also called strobilus , of Z. The male strobilus and the female strobilus are found on two separate plants. The cones on the female plant are thick and have red-orange seeds. They also have a velvety texture, and only grow up to 6 inches. On the other hand, the ones on the male plant are narrow and tall, and contain pollen.
They can reach a length of 7 inches. Female cones are usually borne singularly, whereas male cones grow in groups or clusters. The growing season of Z. Zamia species often produce more than one cone close to the tip of the stem or at the terminal of the caudex where it intersects with the aboveground stem.
How to Grow Zamia Coontie
The multiple cones of Z. The most common form of development is the rapid formation of cone domes on the plant's sympodium , which is its main axis. More cones are present when there is a "branching" of the bundles to the cones.
The forking of the bundle system starts near the base of a terminal cone, which remains erect, of the sympodial development in certain branches. The last method is when "adventitious buds appear in the cortical tissue closely connected with the stelar system of the trunk, and these buds continue their development like typical stems. The plant can regulate the mutualistic interaction by making the seed-bearing strobilis poisonous to these larvae.
They then carry over these pollen into the female cones, which becomes pollinated.
Florida Native Plants – How To Grow And Care For Coontie
Come out from the house about 2 feet. Like all cycad plants, it does very well in containers, as long as it's allowed to dry out between waterings. Other shrubs you might like: Xanadu Philodendron , Carissa. Landscaping company. Looking for a certain plant? Search this site:. Learn more!
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Florida Arrowroot Info
Now also available as an ebook! Coontie Zamia pumila Coontie is a very hardy, slow-growing cycad that works well as a superb, low-maintenance shrub. Flowering Trees Lg. Attention South Florida Business Owners! Get great ideas