Zamia furfuracea
Zamia Furfuracea Varigated

Zamia Furfuracea Varigated




Scientific name: Zamia furfuracea

Pronunciation: ZAY-mee-uh fer-fer-RAY-see-uh

Common name(s): cardboard plant, cardboard cycad

Family: Zamiaceae

Plant type: shrub

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Fig. 2)

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Uses: border; mass planting; container or above-ground planter; specimen; suitable for growing indoors; accent



Height: 2 to 5 feet

Spread: 5 to 8 feet

Plant habit: round

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: slow

Texture: coarse


Leaf arrangement: spiral

Leaf type: even-pinnately compound

Leaf margin: serrate

Leaf shape: obovate

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 4 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Figure 3. Foliage Of Cardboard Plant
Figure 3.  Foliage of cardboard plant



Flower color: no flowers

Flower characteristic: no flowers


Fruit shape: elongated

Fruit length: 3 to 6 inches

Fruit cover: dry or hard

Fruit color: red

Fruit characteristic: showy


Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable

Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: alkaline; sand; acidic; loam

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: good

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant


Growing in full sun or shade, cardboard plant tolerates a variety of well-drained soils. Watering should be done with moderation because plants are drought-tolerant once they become established. This plant is under-utilized, probably because of the slow growth rate. But patience is rewarded because this is one of nature’s most attractive plants. It adapts easily to indoors as a house plant.

Propagation is by seed, which germinates fairly well several months after being cleaned and planted, or by division.