Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi

Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi Lehm., "Pugill. 6: 8, tt. 1-3" (1834). tt. 1-3
"TYPE: the plates tt. 1, 2 & 3."

Etymology: Honoring Friedrich Wilhelm, (latinised to friderici guilielmi), 19th century king of Prussia and patron of science.




Historical notes: Described in 1834 by German botanist J.G.C. Lehmann.

Distinguishing features: The narrow entire leaflets are distincive, but can be confused with E. ghellinckii, E. cycadifolius, E. lanatus and E. laevifolius. E. ghellinckii usually has even narrower leaflets that can be distinguished by the recurved margins. E. friderici guilielmi can be separated from E. cycadifolius by spreading crown of stiff leaves with usually longer and broader leaflets, and the abundance of thick wool in the crown. Stems are also longer, and cones more in number. E. laevifolius is distinguished by the straight and flat leaves and the almost smooth crowns, leaf-bases and cones, and E. lanatus has keeled leaves that are sharply recurved towards the tips, and fewer cones.

Distribution and habitat: Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Cathcart and Queenstown districts, in grassland and open shrubland on rocky ridges.

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


Plants arborescent; stem 4 m tall, 40-60 cm diam.

Leaves 100-150 cm long, blue or silver to blue green, dull, strongly keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 60-100° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with no prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets linear, weakly discolorous, overlapping upwards, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°) or acute (less than 45°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 10-18 cm long, 7-8 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-12, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 30-40 cm long, 8-10 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 25-30 cm long, 15-20 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 25-30 mm long, 15-20 mm wide, sarcotesta yellow.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
This site is currently not being maintained