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Any of several evergreen cycads of the genus Zamia native to southern Florida, Mexico, and the West Indies, having compound leaves, unisexual cones, and conspicuously thickened underground stems that yield an edible starch.

[Florida Creek kuntí·, from earlier Creek, a species of catbrier (Smilax auriculata) whose roots were ground for use as a thickener.]


1. (Plants) an evergreen plant, Zamia floridana of S Florida, related to the cycads and having large dark green leathery leaves: family Zamiaceae
2. (Biochemistry) a starch derived from the underground stems of this plant
[C19: from Seminole kunti flour from this plant]


(ˈkun ti)

1. either of two arrowroots, Zamia integrifolia or Z. floridana, of Florida, having a short trunk, pinnate leaves, and cones.
2. flour produced from coontie starch.
[1785–95, Amer.; < Florida Creek kuntí·]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.coontie - small tough woody zamia of Florida and West Indies and Cuba; roots and half-buried stems yield an arrowroot
zamia - any of various cycads of the genus Zamia; among the smallest and most verdant cycads
References in periodicals archive ?
Zamiaceae), commonly known as coontie, in both private homes and developments as ornamental foliage.
Unlocking the coontie conundrum: the potential of microsatellite DNA studies in the Caribbean Zamia pumila complex (Zamiaceae).
A su vez, el origen del consumo y las formas de procesamiento de la Zamia (llamada coontie en la Florida) documentados en las fuentes etnohistoricas de la Florida tambien han sido trazados a las Antillas (Smith 1951).
They harvested cabbage palm hearts and coontie (a native cycad) roots, and, where possible on higher ground, they grew corn that they had brought from their homeland.
Some of the species found on Pam's land are extremely rare, such as the Cycadaceae Zamia pumila, a low-growing fern-like coontie plant that serves as food for the Florida atala butterfly caterpillar (Eumaeus atala), which is a candidate for inclusion on the U.
Coontie is North America's only native cycad, which was over-harvested for starch production in the early years of European settlement.
The plants tested in this manner were: coontie, Zamia integrifolia L.