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Products > Macrozamia moorei
Macrozamia moorei - Carnarvon Gorge Macrozamia

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Cycad
Family: Cycadaceae (Cycads)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 10-12 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Macrozamia moorei (Carnarvon Gorge Macrozamia) - An upright slow growing cycad with a rounded head of blue-green foliage. It is the largest of the Macrozamia and has been known to reach over 30 feet in the wild in Australia with a 2 foot thick trunk but is usually 10 to 13 feet, even with great age, and can be expected to be well under this size for many years in the garden. Still it is a plant for a large garden as it has a spread from leaftips that can be more than 15 feet wide. The growth point holds many 5 to 7 foot-long blue-green leaves that rise erect and then strongly arch over with 120 to 220 leaflets that face forward and are keeled along the rachis with soft pointed tips - the leaflets are 8 to 12 inches long in the middle of the leaf but reduced towards both the tip and the base with the basal leaves reduced to nearly spinelike all the way to the base of the leaf (important in distinguishing the species). Once mature this plant puts on leaves continuously instead of in flushes like most other cycads do, and the full head of leaves can look somewhat palm-like or like grass trees (Xanthorrhoea or Dasylirion). As with other cycad genera, Macrozamia are dioecious, cone-bearing plants so there are plants that have male or female cones with the female cones typically broader and male cones usually longer and thinner. Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Hardy and evergreen to 20 F. This cycad grows in Queensland, Australia from Emerald and Springure in the north to Injune in the south and west to the Carnarvon Gorge area where it is found in relatively high abundance. It is similar to Macrozamia johnsonii, which grows further to the south in New South Wales and has greener non-keeled leaves, and there is a slightly more blue-green color to the leaves that do not have the reduced leaflets all the way to the base of the leaf. Another fairly commonly grown New South Wales species, Macrozamia communis, can be distinguished by its non-keeled dark green leaves. Loran Whitelock states in his book The Cycads that "In my opinion, Macrozamia moorei is the most beautiful and majestic of all of the species of the genus." The name of the genus comes from the Greek word 'macro' meaning "large" and Zamia for another genus of cycads found in the new world. The word 'zamia' is from a Latin word meaning "loss" or "damage" from Pliny the Elder's use of the word in his description of barren pinecones and transferred to cycads because of the resemblance of their cones to those of the pines. The specific epithet was given this by Ferdinand von Mueller when he described it in 1881 and honors the botanist and plant collector Charles Moore (1820-1905), who was the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Macrozamia moorei.