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Zamia furfuracea (Cardboard Palm) | by wallygrom
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Zamia furfuracea (Cardboard Palm)

In the Palm House at Kew Gardens, near Richmond, London.


From Wikipedia -

The Zamiaceae are a family of cycads that are superficially palm or fern-like. They are divided into two subfamilies with eight genera and about 150 species in the tropical and warm temperate regions of Africa, Australia and North and South America.


Zamia furfuracea is a cycad native to southeastern Veracruz state in eastern Mexico.


Although not a true palm tree (Arecaceae), its growth habit is superficially similar to a palm; therefore it is commonly known as Cardboard Palm, but the alternate name Cardboard Cycad is preferable. Other names include Cardboard Plant, Cardboard Sago, Jamaican Sago and Mexican Cycad (from Mexican Spanish Cícada Mexicana). The plant's binomial name comes from the Latin zamia, for "pine nut", and furfuracea, meaning "mealy" or "scurfy".


As with all cycads, members of the Zamiaceae are poisonous, producing poisonous glycosides known as cycasins. All parts of the plant are poisonous to animals and humans. The toxicity causes liver and kidney failure, as well as eventual paralysis. Dehydration sets in very quickly. No treatment for the poisoning is currently known.

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Taken on October 20, 2013