Zamia integrifolia, coontie

Category: Cycads
Family: Zamiaceae
Origin: Florida, Caribbean
Evergreen: yes
Flower Color: none
Bloom Time: none
Height: 3 ft
Width: 5 ft
Exposure: part sun
Irrigation: low
Cold Hardiness: 7 F
Description: Arching pinnate leaves with many elegant rounded opposite leaflets draw immediate attention to this historic Florida shrub. Beneath the leaves one might find on female plants one or more large orange red cones or on male plants several small yellow brown cones. In a deep freeze, leaves will burn off, yet sprout again in spring. Despite every part being deadly toxic, this plant was processed and consumed by native Americans as flour. Subsequently, European settlers parlayed this knowledge into a multimillion dollar industry that nearly wiped out this plant, which is still endangered in its native range. Their product was arrow root powder used to thicken gravies.
Links:wildflower.org plants.USDA.gov