Evergreen palm-like plants, slow-growing, long-lived and with the stem underground or forming a trunk. Leaves in a terminal crown. Leaflets leathery, without a midrib and with numerous, longitudinal, more or less parallel veins. Male and female plants separate. Male cones with numerous clustered pollen sacs on the lower surface, opening by slits. Female cones with scales spirally or vertically arranged; seeds 2-3 on the inner face of each scale, large, roundish in section, mostly brightly coloured.
8 genera with c. 145 species from tropical and warm-temperate Africa, the Americas and Australia (15 species in 2 genera).
Leaflets with parallel veins and no midrib.
Johnson (1959, 1961), Stevenson (1993).
Source: (1995). Zamiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.