|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos hildebrandtii A. Braun & C.D. Bouché, Ind. Sem. Hort. Berol. 8 (1874).
- "TYPE: Kenya, Mombasa, Hildebrandt s.n. (holo ??B, iso K)."
Encephalartos hildebrandtii var. dentatus Melville, Kew Bull.:248 (1957). H—K
- "TYPE: cult. Dar-es-Salaam, Wigg 1044 (holo K)."
Honoring 19th Century German explorer and botanist
J- M- Hildebrandt,
collector of the type.
Described in 1874 by German botanists
A.C.H. Braun and
The variety E. hildebrandtii var. dentatus was described
by Melville for forms with lobed or dentate sporophylls, but it is still
unclear whether these represent a distinctive local population or merely
a variation within a population.
A large plant with glossy dark green stiff leaves and falcate, dentate
leaflets overlapping downwards (succubous) and curving away from the leaf
apex, with more than 3 teeth on each margin and a 2-3 spines on the tip.
The leaves are similar to E. equatorialis, but the leaflets of the
latter are very thick, falcate and curving away from the leaf apex,
overlapping upwards (incubous) and with one spine on the tips. E.
ituriensis, is also similar, but with thinner, well-separated leaflets
(also falcate and curving downwards). Cones are yellow, and seeds are
yellow, orange or red.
Distribution and habitat:
Kenya and Tanzania, in seasonally dry savanna woodlands near the coast.
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
Plants arborescent; stem 6 m tall, 30 cm diam.
Leaves 200-300 cm long, dark green, highly glossy, moderately keeled
or slightly keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 120-180° on rachis);
rachis green, gently curved, somewhat lax, not spirally twisted; petiole
straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets
reducing to spines.
Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not lobed, insertion angle
obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin heavily toothed (more than 3
teeth); lower margin heavily toothed (more than 3 teeth); median leaflets 20-26
cm long, 28-36 mm wide.
Pollen cones 3-8, fusiform, green or yellow, 20-50 cm long, 5-9 cm
Seed cones 2-4, ovoid, yellow, 28-60 cm long, 15-25 cm diam.
Seeds oblong, 30-38 mm long, 15-20 mm wide, sarcotesta red or orange