Plant Listings

Zamia pumila

Common Names: Coontie, Bay Rush

Family: Zamiaceae

Habit: Zamia pumila grows from an underground vertical stem 15-40 in length and to 15 cm in diameter.  Leaves are produced from the top of the tuber.  The leaves are pinnately compound, to 1 meter in length and covered with rusty brown hairs when young.  The leaflets are to 25 cm (typically shorter) in length with a slightly toothed apex and an entire margin (occasionally irregular).

The dioecious reproductive structures are cones. Microsporangiate cones are solitary or in groups, to 8 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter. There are 15 - 20 series of peltate hexagonal structures underneath which are the microsporagium.

The megasporangiate cones are solitary, to 20 cm in length and 6 cm in diameter.  There are 5-8 series of peltate hexagonal structures underneath each where the ovules are located. The entire structure is covered with reddish hairs.

Habitat: Zamia pumila grows in Pine Woodlands as well as coastal Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations-Shrublands.

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Zamia pumila occurs in the central and north island groupings of the Bahamian Archipelago. 

There is a subspecies that is endemic to the Bahamas.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Zamia pumila stems have been collected and used as a food source but are not used medicinally in the Bahamas.

Zamia pumila is used in the horticultural industry.


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