One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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’.
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