The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos bubalinus

Encephalartos bubalinus Melville, Kew Bull.: 252 (1957). H—K
"TYPE: Tanganyika, Northern Province, between Loliondo and Lake Natron, 2 11'S 35 40'E, Bally 10600 (holo K iso B)."

Etymology: Latin bubalinus buff, from the buff-brown tomentum on the cataphylls and leaf bases.




Historical notes: Described in 1957 by English botanist Melville.

Distinguishing features: Cones green; pollen cones almost sessile; seed cones stalked; leaflets rounded or obuse with a fine projection at the tip.

Distribution and habitat: Northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, in grasslands on rocky slopes on shallow soils over metasandstone.

Conservation: 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category V.


Plants arborescent; stem 2 m tall, 45 cm diam.

Leaves 60-160 cm long, light or bright green, semiglossy, slightly keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 120-160° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 10-20 cm long, 10-20 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 11-22 cm long, 5-6 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 25-30 cm long, 15-18 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 35-40 mm long, 20-25 mm wide, sarcotesta yellow.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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