Ceratozamia robusta was discovered in Mexico and was described in 1846 or 1847 but the exact location of the population was unknown. In recent times a population near Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas, Mexico has been found. The plant is also is found in many places in Chiapas and neighboring Belize and Guatemala. The plants from Belize and Guatemala are very large and robust. Reliable characteristics of this plant are upright leaves that are brown emergent.