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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the southeastern part of Veracruz state, Mexico. Populations occur from south of Alvarado to just south of Playa de Montepio.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species grows in areas varying from generally arid thorn scrub to sandy soils and in limestone sea cliffs.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2acd; B1ab(i,iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Chemnick, J. & Gregory, T.

Reviewer/s
Donaldson, J.S. & Bösenberg, J.D.

Contributor/s

Justification
Classified as Endangered based on decline over the past three generations and the limited extent of occurrence (630 km²) and ongoing decline estimated to be 20% over the next 20 years. The group has also been studied taxonomically and may be split into more than one species. If some subpopulations are defined as new species, then Z. furfuracea (sensu stricto) may become Critically Endangered.

History
  • 2003
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 2003)
  • 2003
    Vulnerable
  • 1997
    Vulnerable
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Population

Population
This species is known from four widespread localities (Z.furfuracea sensu latu) and each consists of hundreds/thousands of individuals and some active recruitment. However, it is very much a range-restricted species whose coastal habitat is under threat.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The huge declines in numbers of this species occurred over twenty years ago. Many plants were removed from the habitat for ornamental purposes. It is now exceedingly common in cultivation and rarely collected in the field, though reports of wild seed collecting exist.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Appendix II of the CITES Appendices. Plants are being cultivated in campesino cycad nurseries.
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Wikipedia

Zamia furfuracea

Zamia furfuracea is a cycad native to southeastern Veracruz state in eastern Mexico. Although not a palm tree (Arecaceae), its growth habit is superficially similar to a palm; therefore it is commonly known as "Cardboard Palm" but the alternate name Cardboard Cycad is preferable. Other names include Cardboard Plant, Cardboard Sago, Jamaican Sago and Mexican Cycad (from Mexican Spanish Cícada Mexicana). The plant's binomial name comes from the Latin zamia, for "pine nut", and furfuracea, meaning "mealy" or "scurfy".

Description and ecology[edit]

The plant has a short, sometimes subterranean trunk up to 20 cm broad and high, usually marked with scars from old leaf bases. It grows very slowly when young, but its growth accelerates after the trunk matures. Including the leaves, the whole plant typically grows to 1.3 m tall with a width of about 2 m.

Leaflets

The leaves radiate from the center of the trunk; each leaf is 50-150 cm long with a petiole 15-30 cm long, and 6-12 pairs of extremely stiff, pubescent (fuzzy) green leaflets. These leaflets grow 8-20 cm long and 3-5 cm wide. Occasionally, the leaflets are toothed toward the tips. The circular crowns of leaves resemble fern or palm fronds. They are erect in full sun, horizontal in shade.

This plant produces a rusty-brown cone in the center of the female plant. The egg-shaped female (seed-producing) cones and smaller male (pollen-producing) cone clusters are produced on separate plants. Pollination is by certain insects, namely the belid weevil Rhopalotria mollis.

Cardboard Cycad plant can only be reproduced by the fleshy, brightly crimson-colored seeds produced by the female plants. The germination process is very slow and difficult to achieve in cultivation; as a result, many plants sold for horticultural use are illegally collected in the wild, leading to the species being classified as Vulnerable.

This plant is easy to care for and grows best in moist, well-drained soil. They do well in full sun or shade, but not in constant deep shade. They are fairly salt- and drought-tolerant, but should be protected from extreme cold. They should occasionally be fed with palm food. After Cycas revoluta, this is probably the most popular cycad species in cultivation. In temperate regions it is commonly grown as a houseplant and, in subtropical areas, as a container or bedding plant outdoors.

All parts of the plant are poisonous to animals and humans. The toxicity causes liver and kidney failure, as well as eventual paralysis. Dehydration sets in very quickly. No treatment for the poisoning is currently known.

References[edit]

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