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Ancient Garden

Zamia Fischeri Cycad

​​​Zamia Fischeri Cycad

  • Common name: Zamia fischeri, Fischer’s Zamia
  • Scientific name: Zamia fischeri
  • Family name: Zamiaceae
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Height: 1-2 ft
  • Width: 2-3 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 9b-11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers moist, well-drained soils, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.1-7.8)
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs – keep soil moist, but do not overwater.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: Mealybugs and scale.
  • Growing conditions: When it comes to light levels, this plant can tolerate both sunny and shady conditions, though bright, indirect sunlight is optimal. This plant likes to be in a warm and humid environment. Due to its underground trunk, its best to plant it directly in the ground rather than keep it in a container.
  • Characteristics: Trunk is subterranean and about 3 inches in diameter. Young leaves are light brown. One plant may have around 5-6 leaves. Mature leaves are fernlike and tend to be about 1 ft long. Leaflets are lanceolate, thin, and papery, with serrated edges. This plant is dioecious, having both male and female plants, which produce different cones. Male cones are tan and about 3 inches in length, while female cones are greenish-gray and about 5 inches in length. Seeds are red.
  • Propagation: By seeds.
  • Wildlife: Its broad leaves provide shade and refuge for small animals.
  • Facts: Its species name, fischeri, commemorates Gustav Fischer, a cycad enthusiast from the nineteenth century. In its native environment in Mexico, this plant grows in oak and cloud forests. It is endangered due to habitat destruction.
  • Designer considerations: Its relatively small stature and fernlike appearance make it a great ground cover plant, especially along roads and walkways. Its textured leaves can bring variety to an otherwise dull area.