This cycad is producing new fronds in the West Tropical House.
Zamia furfuracea (cardboard fern) is endemic to the Gulf of Mexico where it grows on sandy limestone cliffs of coastal mountains. It can reach 1.5m in height and produces stiff, arching fronds bearing up to 13 opposite, but uneven leaflets which have a coarse texture resembling cardboard. The newly emerging fronds are covered in fine golden hairs and give rise to the specific name furfuracea, which means scruffy or mealy. Female plants will produce erect cones which require fertilisation by pollen from male cones borne on separate plants. Z. furfuracea is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and it is also a CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) species, both of which help protect it and ensure its survival in the wild.