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Distribution of Encephalartos in southeast Africa (Jones 1993); see species descriptions for distributions north of 15° S latitude.


E. arenarius, foliage and immature female cone; plant at Los Angeles County Arboretum in California [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06].


E. horridus foliage and nearly-mature female cone, also at Los Angeles County Arboretum [C.J. Earle, 2009.12.06].


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Lehmann 1834

Common names

Taxonomic notes

Encephalartos is the largest genus in the Zamiaceae, and includes the following 62 species. I have not yet prepared pages for many of these species, so not all are links. Interested readers are referred to the excellent descriptions provided by The Cycad Pages for data on all species of Encephalartos.

E. aemulans E. hildebrandtii E. paucidentatus
E. altensteinii E. hirsutus E. poggei
E. aplanatus E. horridus E. princeps
E. arenarius E. humilis E. pterogonus
E. barteri E. imbricans E. schmitzii
E. brevifoliolatus E. inopinus E. sclavoi
E. bulbalinus E. ituriensis E. senticosus
E. caffer E. kisambo E. septentrionalis
E. cerinus E. laevifolius E. shaijesii
E. chimanimaniensis E. lanatus E. successibus
E. concinnus E. latifrons E. tegulaneus
E. cupidus E. laurentianus E. transvenosus
E. cycadifolius E. lebomboensis E. trispinosus
E. dolomiticus E. lehmannii E. turneri
E. dyerianus E. longifolius E. umbeluziensis
E. eugene-maraisii E. manikensis E. venetus
E. equatorialis E. margunguensis E. villosus
E. ferox E. middelburgensis E. woodii
E. friderici-guilielmii E. msinganus  
E. ghellinckii E. munchii  
E. gratus E. natalensis  
E. heenanii E. ngoyanus  


Distribution and Ecology

Big tree

E. laurentianus grows to a height (or length, as it is often decumbent) of 15 m and a diameter of 1 m, making it the most massive of all cycads. Moreover, it often grows in clumps.






See also

Africa Cycads provides good photos, distribution maps and descriptions for all African cycads, including Encephalartos.

Last Modified 2012-11-23