Zamia furfuracea L.f. ex Aiton

Last updated: 25 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Zamia furfuracea L.f. ex Aiton   


Palma pumila Mill., Palmifolium furfuraceum (L.f. ex Aiton) Kuntze, Zamia crassifolia T.Moore, Zamia gutierrezii Sauvalle, Zamia vestita Van Houtte [1]

Vernacular Name

English Broad-leafed Zamia [2]
Honduras Camotillo [3].

Geographical Distributions

No documentation.

Botanical Description

Zamia furfurcea is a member of the Zamiaceae family. The rootstock is large and grows to about 30 cm in height. [2]

The leaves are pinnate with leaflets about 10 pairs regularly widening towards the apex, the lower half being entire and upper half minutely serrated or jagged at the extremity. [2]

The footstalk or stipes has several small prickles and is dilated into a rounded concave form at the base. [2]

The spadix is pedunculated, oval with a conical apex, downy, and of a uniform pale yellowish brown colour. [2]

When wounded there exudes a mucilaginous liquid which hardened into a pellucid, nearly insipid or slightly bitterish gum. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

All parts. [4]


Cycasin, an azoglycoside that releases methlazoxymethanol the compound directly responsible for toxicity [4]. This compound may caus centrilobular and midzonal coagulative hepatic necrosis and gastrointestinal irritation. Cycasin itself is carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic [5][6].

Risk management

As mentioned above the whole plant contains the toxic principle and the ease of flow of exudates upon cutting the plant, it is wise to avoid the plants where there are children in the house. The toxic effects outweighs the ornamental beauty of the plant. [2][4][5][6]

Poisonous clinical findings

The most common feature of poisoning by Z. furfuracea is nausea and vomiting which is associated with abdominal colic. Other symptoms include visual complainst and lethargy. In severe cases coma may ensue. [4]


Symptomatic treatment of severe gastrointestinal symptoms includes intravenous hydration, antiemetic and electrolyte replacement. There is no known specific antidote for the CNS manifestation. [4]

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Zamia furfuracea L.f. ex Aiton [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2016 May 11]. Available from:
  2. Sims J. Curtis’s botanical magazine Volume 45. London: Sherwood, Neely, & Jones, 1818; p. 1969.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume V R-Z. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 814.
  4. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ. Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. 2nd ed. New York: Springer, 2007; p. 301-303.
  5. Cheeke PR. Natural toxicants in feeds, forages, and poisonous plants. Danville, Illinois: Interstate Publishers, 1998; p. 388-389.
  6. Keeler RF, Tu AT, editors. Handbook of natural toxins: Plant and fungal toxins Vol 1. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1983; p. 239-298.