Even though scientifically described as long ago as 1851, there have been uncountable misunderstandings and confusions surrounding this astounding plant. These seem to have recently been put to rest, at long last, through the description of a number of closely related taxa, namely Z. hamanii, Z. nesophila and Z. imperialis. In this understanding, the "true" Zamia skinneri is a moderately large cycad that forms a trunk to more than 2.4 m (8 ft.) tall, holding a crown of large leaves with giant, wide, elliptic, deeply "corrugated" or plicate leaflets to more than 50 cm (20 in.) long. The new flush of leaves is light green. It has fewer but larger leaflets than Z. nesophila and Z. neurophyllidia while Z. hamanii and Z. imperialis have larger leaflets and red emergent leaves. While Z. skinneri is relatively common in lowland tropical rainforest to 400 m (1300 ft.) throughout Bocas del Toro province, Panama, it is still very rare in cultivation as seeds are very difficult to find. In fact, most plants cultivated as Z. skinneri are actually the much more common Z. neurophyllidia. Z. skinneri is easy to grow and does best in all tropical and a few warm temperate climates. It appreciates a protected spot out of the sun and wind.