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Ancient Garden

Pineapple Cycad

​​​Pineapple Cycad

  • Common name: Pineapple cycad, Scaly zamia, Burrawang palm
  • Scientific name: Lepidozamia peroffskyana
  • Family name: Zamiaceae
  • Origin: Eastern Australia
  • Height: 14 to 22 ft
  • Width: 10-20 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 9b-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Well-drained, sandy loam soil, slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.5-7.0)
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate, can tolerate dry conditions but does best with regular or occasional irrigation.
  • Pests/Diseases: No pests or diseases are of particular concern.
  • Growing conditions: Does best in partial sun or dappled shade – it can tolerate full sun, but it will need afternoon shade so its leaves don’t get scorched. It can tolerate dryness, but regular watering will keep it looking its best. It is a very low maintenance plant and has few requirements other than its soil being well-drained. It can tolerate a little frost, but it does best in an environment that is consistently warm. It can be kept outdoors or indoors – just keep in mind that it can get to be very large, so it needs a lot of room to grow.
  • Characteristics: Trunk is roughly textured, about 2.5 ft in diameter, and can grow up to 12 feet tall. Leaves are 7-9 ft long, pinnate, with each containing about 200 narrow, glossy, dark green leaflets. This species is dioecious, having separate male and female plants, which produce different cones. Male cones are about 2.5 ft long, and female cones are about 3 ft long. This plant has some of the largest of all cycad cones, with female cones weighing up to 60 pounds. Seeds are bright red.
  • Propagation: By seeds.
  • Wildlife: Its leaves provide shade and refuge for small animals such as birds.
  • Facts: Its species name, peroffskyana, commemorates Count Peroffsky, a 19th century benefactor of the St Petersburg Botanical Garden.
  • Designer considerations: Its minimal attention requirements and tolerance for various light conditions means that it can be used in a variety of ways, both indoors and outdoors. Plant in a large container to give indoor areas a tropical look. Outdoors, it can be placed on its own as a large specimen planting, and it also looks great near palm trees and walkways.