Wild Florida Photo - Zamia integrifolia

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Zamia integrifolia

COONTIE

FLORIDA ARROWROOT

Synonym: Zamia pumila, Zamia floridana

Florida native

 

There are a number of varieties of coontie in Florida. in the northeast coast the leaves are boarder. The narrow-leaf forms are found closer to the west coast and both sides of the southern peninsula. Zamia integrifolia is also found in the southeastern coastal counties of Georgia and the Bahamas.
Although poisonous, coontie was an important food source for the Seminoles and earlier Florida native tribes. Properly processed, the tuber-like stem produced an edible flour-like starch. In the 1800's starch factories in South Florida contributed to the decline of the slow growing plant.
In north Florida, coontie is the host plant for the echo moth. In south Florida it is a host for the rare Atala butterfly.
Zamia pumila is found in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
For more information about Coontie plants, read Tom Broome's "The Coontie of Florida" article at the Cycad Jungle.

 
Zamia integrifolia is a member of the Zamiaceae - Sago-palm family.