Lepidozamia peroffskyana in cultivation

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Figure 1. L. peroffskyana male cone.


Common Names:

Scaly Zamia

Natural Habitat:

Open rainforests of north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland.


A very attractive cycad, which can grow to about 6 metres (20 feet) high, with a slender trunk about 150 mm (6 ins) across. It has long, arching, pinnate leaves, up to 3 metres (10 feet) long, with glossy green leaflets, 150-300 mm (6-12 inches long), and 20 mm (3/4 in) wide. Spent leaves persist, but are easily removed.

The male cones are about 600 mm (2 feet) long, female cones up to 800 mm (2.5 feet) long, and producing bright red oval seeds, 50 mm (2 in) long.


This is a very easily grown, attractive, and popular cycad for sub-tropical areas. It prefers a moist, well drained, lightly shaded thru to full sun position. It does develop a nice bronze tinge in sunny areas, while it simply ceases growing if given too much shade.

This species grows easily as far south as Nowra NSW and at this latitude some plants have attained maturity in about 20 years from seed. One season a solitary female plant coned and appeared to set some fertile seed. The closest mature male would probably be 15km to my location. I tend to grow plants on slopes but the growth rate of individuals varies enormously with respect to shade and possibly other factors. As in wild plants the base of the caudex of larger plants has been colonised by Birds Nest Ferns, Hares Foot Fern and Elks.

Figure 2. A beautifully grown plant of L. peroffskyana.
Figure 3. Two L. peroffskyanaconing, with both male and female cones.

Contributed by:

Rachel Welsh (Figures 2&3).
Garry Daly

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums