What is this, found growing under a palm/fern type plant

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

Can someone tell me what this is, I've been living in Florida for some 25 years and have never seen anything like it. Very hard, but when broke open looks like a bunch of orange seeds/pods. No smell, feels a little like an actual pine cone. I was weed whacking and lifted the fern or type of palm, here again help identify the plant, and saw what I thought was a pine cone, till I realized it was attached to the plant itself, and there were more than just 1, maybe about 3 or 4, all clustered around this palm/ fern. This all sounds funny because I'm not sure what you would call the plant, and I checked through a lot of my gardening books but found no clue!
Thanks all for any feedback or help on this. One other question, would this be poisonous to dogs if they got a hold of one and chewed on it. Thanks, Jami

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(Zone 9a)

Looks like a Florida coontie seed pod to me.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

That is what it is.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

My coonties are going seed pod crazy. Love it!!! Ive never heard of it being bad for dogs, the squirrels eat them all the time.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

What class would you put the coontie in, it's a fern type of ground cover ? Or is it from the palm tree family. I just moved into my home, and have started to get my raised beds built for my garden, and am stumped as to what this whole plant is. I'm going to google it, but any feedback I can get, would be welcome and wonderful. Thank you all for guiding me in the right direction! Jami

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

Ok, I found it and this is exactly what it is! Amazing, the Plant that is, and I'm going to "try" to get the seeds to spout a new plant. Which could take some time, I'll let you know how it turns out !!!!! Thanks all !

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

They are cycads. I love them because they require little water and stay green all year without insect of disease damage, at least for me. Im sure there must be something that likes to attack them. I long ago gave up my sago palms for coontie. Sagos are a real pain in gainesivlle. They freeze and the fronds are often ridddled with diseases. Mine grow in part shade, I notice the ones in full sun are not as dark green. I cant think of a more carefree plant. Heck, they dont even need to be pruned. I like other native plants, such as beautyberry, but it needs prunning and does die back in the winter. Cant beat those fushia berries tho, and the birds love them.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

There are 2 butterflies use Cooties as host plants but they do little damage. I think only one of them is found this far north. I have found one caterpillar, can not find the picture right now.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Primordial predeccessors of the palms we have today they are. That makes them extra special to me!

Be careful those "Cooties" don't jump on you Wren! Remember those grade school days way back when? Ha!

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

yes and I still can not spell--and the spell check on this stupid laptop is out of it's mind- the other day I was trying to type anti-inflammatory and it wanted to change it to anti-flamethrower. Did not know there was such a thing.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

anti-flamethrower......Ha!

(Zone 9a)

LOL, Wren, my laptop does the same thing. I keep changing (and saving) the spell check settings so it does not automatically correct and the darn thing keeps reverting to the default settings. Drives me crazy when it corrects words before I am even finished typing them.

I think the coonties have such a pretty shape and they do well along the SC coast.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

thankfully mine does not change the words-just suggest what it thinks is the right word. And I think some of it's suggestions are curse words but I refuse to look them up. LOL

Tarpon Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Turn off spell check until your document is finished then let it suggest correct spelling for you, much easier.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

You all are funny, But. I Love it, Now, since I found out what the plant is, I'd like to move it, put it in a special place of it's own. It's at the bottom of a palm, not sure what king of palm, I think I show it in the picture of the cootie, but I really want to be careful, now that I have a special plant, I'll look for a special place to move it to. When we moved here, Jan.2, 2013, the yard was a little dried out, but in the last 2 months we have put the petal to the medal. I'll post some yard photo's, and maybe someone can suggest where to re-locate it! Keep in touch here, I'll post pic's of my front and back yard, you all have the final say after I do it! Thanks, I just love this cootie:)

Indian Harbour Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

The seed pod is from the female plant, of course, and form low to the ground. The pods are extremely poisonous (just yesterday I sat in on a Master Gardeners' class) and learned that dogs can die if they chew on them. The upside is that the pods only form once a year, so you can rake them up quickly to get them out of harm's way.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

These pods are in the middle of the plant, my dogs can't get to them, but I'm wondering, can't you grow another cooties from the pod seed? I haven't had the time to post picture's of my yard, nor to move it. I'm still busy planting my spring garden, and have lot's to do. I'll get back to the cootie as soon as I can!
Thanks for the feedback, I did find the plant by googling it, and found a lot of info on the plant. Now, where and if i decide to move it, where too!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Cooties ! Love this native .

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm still wondering what to do with this plant, it seems to be very mature, can I move it, if I'm very gentle with it, It doesn't look great, visually wise, where it's growing, can I move it to a better spot, to show case it? Thanks for any info I can get on this strange and beautiful plant!

Miami, FL

If you see small seed cones forming on your coontie (Zamia integrifolia), just cut them off!!! No need to wait until they form seeds. It won't hurt the plant at all to remove their cones.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

You can move it, the thing is, its very hard to get them to hold their shape. Its like each front has its own root. Just do the best you can, it will take no time and it will get its pretty shape back. Ive got two Im about to move.

I would never cut my seed cones off, I love how they look. The bright orange with dark green, very nice.

Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL(Zone 9b)

You probably should assume it is harmful to dogs. I have asked 3 or 4 different vet offices about dangerous fruit and vegetables for my dog and always got the same answer - grapes, raisins, the seed (only) of peach, plum, and apricot and apple seeds. I will avoid seeds where ever possible - like mango, papaya or avocado seeds also. By dog loves it all

There doesn't seem to be a reputable posting on the internet. If anyone knows of one, I'd sure like to have it.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Web sites also say azealas are harmful to dogs. Not getting rid of them either. Also caladiums(the bulb). My BIL has a dog that hanst ever seen a caladium bulb he doesnt dig up and chew on, never has gotten sick, so I guess it varies dog to dog, just like people.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

Coonties or Card Board Palms---how-ever you'd like to name them are a tuber.
YES!!! The seeds are poisioness!!! & not something that you want laying around for the animals to eat!

I have a very large coontie in my back yard that came from a cutting of a tuber, about ten years ago. Have had to keep it under control, by divisions, as they will take over your yard, if kept unchecked! This particullar one, is a native to Florida & at one point in time was endangered.

I also have a couple more, that are not native to Florida, & not so envasive.

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

I appreciate all the advise on my coontie! I'm going to move it, not sure when as it isn't on my list to do at this time. I've been working on my back yard, getting in raised beds, and also planting in the ground around the perimeter of my deer fence, I've onl been in this home since Jan.2nd, this year, we've accomplished a lot in the back yard, but won't start in the front till next spring, due to the fact, food is more important than ornamental plants. I love the coontie, and have no intention of breaking it up to make more plants. I want to give it a space of it's own, and probably will incorporate it into a landscaping project that we've done before. I'll get some big cocquina rocks, or I should say boulders, and lay them in a circle in my front yard, fill them in the middle with garden soil, add a few palms, a queen, and several others, some local flowers, and the coontie. We did this at our other home we owned, and I had people stopping and taking picture's of our landscape. Seeing as we just moved here, I can wait till next year. I think this plant is gorgeous, all green, healthy looking, I can honestly say, it's the only green thing at this time in the front yard, other than the plants I put in already, 3 gardenias, and 2 bagavillias(sp?), plus some flowers in planters.
I thank all for some wonderful information, I did pick a ( cone) to take to a RU I was invited to, and will gladly share the seed from it! Thanks for all info, Jami
.

Miami, FL

The coontie requires a male plant to produce 'cones' which contain pollen. The female plant produces larger cones with red aril covered seeds. Like many cycads, the coontie might produce seeds (usually smaller than normal) which are not viable....if there are no mature males around.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Checked my coontie seeds todqy. Planted Feb. 4 but nothing yet. Maybe they are sterile. I picked them up from our local police station which has many planted out in front. I'll just leave them in pot and keep watering and see if anything happens.
Bonnie

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

amy,

Guess in that case, mine must be bi-sexual,(LOL!!!) as it all came from the same tuber, about 5 inches around, 15 years ago,----have planted the seeds & they have all grown.

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