Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zamia portoricensis

What a messy but intriguing little specimen this is....

zamia portoricensis male

This is Zamia porturicensis which as the name suggests is from Puerto Rico. As you can see there are a lot of dead fronds in there amongst the really rather dainty and delicate live ones. Its very thin long individual leaflets and a rather petite habit look good but unfortunately this one is a little bit swamped.If you peer deep amongst the stems, hidden treasures reveal themselves; emergent male cones.

.zamia portoricensis

Here's a shot from above which better shows off those swordlike leaflets. There are other Zamia in the trade from PR with names like "red emergent Puerto Rican" I'm not sure what they are but I'd suspect they are part of the pumila complex. This one is clearly unique however and is now (unsurprisingly) rare in the wild.

zamia portoricensis male2

I think, notwithstanding the messiness of this specimen (which is the first I've seen), this would make a rather nice house plant (for those without plant chewing pets/toddlers). It should tolerate a range of conditions as well as or better than the more commonly grown parlour palms and I think it looks nicer.


Julia said...

Heh, I'd be tempted to have it even with pets or toddlers and treat it as a form of natural selection (you see why I'm not a parent??). I do like Zamia. This one looks a little more flexible than Z. furfuracea, which is currently dying on me!

tai haku said...

Its surprisingly stiff - though not quite as plasticy feeling as Z. furf.