Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

ZAMIA pumila

Image of Zamia pumila

Jesse Saylor

Family

Zamiaceae

Botanical Name

ZAMIA pumila

Plant Common Name

Coontie

General Description

The compact, palm-like cycad, West Indian coontie, produces small mounded clumps of evergreen foliage that look great year round. This slow-growing native of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic spreads over time to form substantial clumps. It has whorls of arching, fern-like leaves with flattened, leathery leaflets. Newly emerging leaves are glossy. Coontie is dioecious, which means separate plants have either male or female reproductive cones. The male cones are smaller and pollen-producing and the female cones become covered interesting red fruits after pollination. Both are rusty brown.

West Indian coontie is an adaptable plant that will grow well in both full sun and shade. It tolerates a wide range of well-drained soil types but grows best in humusy sandy soils. More water should be given in spring and summer, and less is needed in winter. Plants grown in shade will have leaves that are broader and flatter than those growing in full sun. It makes a handsome specimen plant for containers or small garden spaces. It is also looks great when planted in large sweeps or massed as a groundcover. High salt tolerance makes it ideal for coastal plantings.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Native To

    Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No