The Cardboard Palm belongs to the Cycad family (Cycad is Greek for ‘palm’, as most Cycads bear resemblance to palms). It is native to the warm sandy coastal plains of Mexico. It’s a very distinctive cycad with thick, felty leaves up to 1.2m long that emerge from the middle of the plant, forming a rosette. When grown in bright light, the rosette becomes a 1m high clump of tightly overlapping that can (although slowly) grow to 1.8m in diameter. The leaves are slightly fuzzy and feel a bit like cardboard when rubbed.
Foliage emerges from a thick fleshy trunk that serves as water storage in drought. Male and female cones form on separate plants. Even very young plants produce these interesting cones. When ripe, the female cone breaks and reveals a mass of bright red seeds of about 2.5cm.
The Cardboard Palm is a common landscape item all over the world, also very popular and easy to grow as an indoor plant. This cycad is salt resistant and can be used in coastal areas.
Common names: Cardboard Palm, Zamia Palm