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Bamboo Cycad


Ancient Garden

​Bamboo Cycad

Bamboo Cycad

  • Common name: Ceratozamia Hildae Cycad
  • Scientific name: Ceratozamia Hildae
  • Family name: Zamiaceae
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Height: 6-8 ft
  • Width: 6 ft
  • Growth: Fast for cycads, reaching maturity in 2-4 years
  • Zone: 9-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers sandy, well-drained soil, neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 7.0-7.5)
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs. Water regularly, but do not let the soil become saturated with water.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests and diseases are of particular concern.
  • Growing conditions: Can tolerate a wide range of light levels, from full sun to nearly full shade. Prefers a warm, moist, and sheltered location. This plant should not be overwatered or allowed to sit in water-saturated soil, as it is very sensitive to root rot, so don’t plant it in a low area or an area prone to flooding. Mulch this plant with organic materials, such as bark or decayed leaves.
  • Characteristics: The trunk is short, growing to be about 1-1.5 ft tall. Petioles are thin and stem-like, 5-7 ft tall. There are 4 leaflets per leaf internode growing close together in a bow-tie-like pattern that somewhat resembles bamboo. These leaflets are lime-green, thin, and papery. Bamboo cycads are dioecious, having separate male and female plants, which produce different cones. Male cones are brown and green with small horns. Female cones are shorter and broader, and are yellow-green or olive green, with larger horns.
  • Propagation: By seeds.
  • Wildlife: Leaves may provide shade for small animals.
  • Facts: The species name, hildae, honors Hilda Guerra Walker, the daughter of Luciano Guerra who first collected this plant. This plant is endangered, threatened by habitat loss and over-collecting.
  • Designer considerations: Its upright growth can add height to a garden. It also makes a great container specimen. Due to its preference for a sheltered location, as well as its shade tolerance, it can thrive as a porch plant or greenhouse plant as well.