Definition of zamia in US English:


(Australian zamia palm)


  • An American or Australian cycad, some kinds of which produce roots or seeds that are edible after careful preparation.

    Genera Zamia (of America) and Macrozamia (of Australia), family Zamiaceae

    • ‘This eco retreat is located at one end of the gorge and is surrounded by zamia palms and open lawns.’
    • ‘Fairy-wrens build domed nests of grass and bark fibre, lined with soft down from zamia palms, banksia wool or feathers.’
    • ‘I have found that the wet method and the dry method both work equally as well with most zamias.’
    • ‘Its name, incidentally, comes from the hardy and resilient zamia palm found in central Queensland.’
    • ‘A kind of damper is made from the seeds or nuts from the female plants of cycads and zamia palms.’


Early 19th century: modern Latin, from zamiae, misreading (in Pliny) of azaniae ‘pine cones’.