Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bamboo Cycad
Ceratozamia hildae

Family: Zamiaceae
Genus: Ceratozamia (ser-at-oh-ZAY-mee-uh) (Info)
Species: hildae (hil-DAY-ee) (Info)

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LucianoG On Aug 2, 2013, LucianoG from Abram-Perezville, TX wrote:

My father, Luciano "Chano" Guerra Sr., discovered and named this plant. He named it after my sister Hilda. Just in case anybody doubts this, he is credited with doing so in several trade journals.

I would like to get my hands on a pair of these plants if at all possible. If anybody has any for sale, please let me know. My e-mail is Thanks!

Positive cycadjungle On May 17, 2008, cycadjungle from Gibsonia, FL wrote:

These are excellent plants for Florida and throughout the southeast. Plants I sent to Zilkor BG in Austin had no leaf damage at 12F. They grow quite fast and will mature in 5 years from seed. They prefer to be in some shade to oook their best, but can tolerate at least a half day of sun and still look decent. Cones are produced in early to late spring and the cones fall apart about a year from pollination. The seeds should be cleaned and stored for another 4 to 6 months before they are planted, because it takes that long for the embryos to become full size.

Neutral Cretaceous On Jun 20, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Ceratozamia hildae is native to Mexico (San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro), where it grows in forests in heavy clay soil and amoung limestone rocks.

Ceratozamia are listed on CITES Appendix I.

Positive epic1 On Jun 14, 2005, epic1 from Windermere, FL wrote:

By far, this cycad is the most vigorous grower in my collection. It prefers shade to look its best, and responds to cycad fertalizer and lots of water. Increadible plant...first to flush of all my cycads, and still had hardening leaves late into fall.

Positive palmbob On Sep 18, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a unique Ceratozamia with 'bow-tie' arranged leaflets (in clumps along the petioles). It has lime-green leaves and is a fast and vigorous grower. It is also one of the more easily obtained species of Ceratozamia around Southern California. It is a clumper/suckerer and, with time, will eventually grow like a large bush with many caudeces in a circle around the orignal one. Like other Ceratozamias, this one is from Mexico.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Reseda, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Tulare, California
Bradenton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Summerfield, Florida
Valrico, Florida (2 reports)
Windermere, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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