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Unveiling the Coontie: Florida’s Ancient Butterfly Haven

The Coontie (Zamia integrifolia), Florida’s sole native cycad, boasts an ancient lineage and captivating fern-like appearance. Standing 1-3 feet tall with glossy, stiff, feathery leaves, it adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.

A Butterfly Buffet:

This unique plant serves as the exclusive food source for the rare Atala butterfly larvae, making it a vital part of the local ecosystem. Watch your garden flutter with life as these vibrant butterflies flit among the Coontie’s fronds.

Beyond Beauty:

Florida’s indigenous peoples traditionally processed the Coontie stem into a starchy flour. Important note: The raw stem is toxic and requires special preparation – admire its beauty, but leave the foraging to the professionals!

Garden Superstar:

Coontie thrives in our sunny climate, tolerating both drought and moderate salt spray. It’s even cold-hardy! Plant it in sun or shade, and enjoy its versatility:
• Specimen Plant: Let a single Coontie take center stage in your garden.
• Foundation Plantings: Add a touch of elegance along walkways or borders.
• Massed Plantings: Create a lush, low-maintenance groundcover.

Embrace the Native Choice:

Coontie is a fantastic alternative to non-native plants. Choose a Florida favorite and support the local ecosystem!
Stay tuned for more posts featuring captivating native plants!


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