Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos ghellinckii

Encephalartos ghellinckii Lem., "Ill. Hort. 14, misc.: 80" (1867). ?
"TYPE: no plate, no citation except hort Versch."

Etymology: Honoring Ed de Ghellink de Walle, 19th Century Belgian horticulturist and amateur botanist.




Historical notes: Described in 1867 by Belgian botanist - Lem.

Distinguishing features: The very narrow leaflets with recurved margins are unique to this species. E. cycadifolius may have leaflets almost as narrow, but these are not recurved and lack the persistent grey wool often present in E. ghellinckii. E. friderici-guilielmi has similar leaflets to E. cycadifolius, but usually broader.

Distribution and habitat: Mountanous regions of Natal Province of South Africa and Transkei, in grasslands on rocky ridges and slopes.

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


Plants arborescent; stem 3 m tall, 30-40 cm diam.

Leaves 100 cm long, dark green or blue green, dull, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis yellowish, straight, stiff, slightly twisted in some leaves; petiole recurved, with no prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets not reducing to spines.

Leaflets linear, strongly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed; margins recurved; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth); median leaflets 8-14 cm long, 2-4 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-5, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 20-25 cm long, 6-8 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 20-25 cm long, 12-15 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