|Photo Ken Hill
|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos kisambo Faden & Beentje, Utafiti 2: 7-10 (1989). H—K
- "TYPE: Kenya, Maungu Hills, Taita - Taveta district, alt ca 900 m, 28 Mar 1970, R.B. & A.J. Faden, C. & N. Smeenk & D. Kichoi 71/965 (holo K iso BR, EA, MO, PRE, UPS, US, WAG)."
The name for this species in the Taita language of the local people.
Discovered in the 1960's by Robert Archer, and later discussed by
and Goode (1985), although not formally described until 1989 by
European botanists working in Central Africa
It had been concurrently described as E. voiensis by Moretti et al.
but this publication was a few months later.
Glossy, flat, dark green leaves, leaflets falcate, overlapping,
with 2-6 or more teeth on the upper
margins only, yellow cones, long-stalked pollen cones, cylindrical seed
cones, red seeds.
Distribution and habitat:
Southern Kenya, in closed to open evergreen cloud forest on steep mountain
slopes of the Maungu Hills of the Taita-Taveta District. Natural occurrence
is limited to a very small area.
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
Plants arborescent; stem 2.5 m tall, 70 cm diam.
Leaves 200-400 cm long, dark green, semiglossy, flat (not keeled) in
section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); straight, stiff,
not spirally twisted; petiole straight; leaf-base collar not present.
Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not lobed, insertion angle
horizontal to obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin lightly toothed
(1-3 teeth), or heavily toothed (more than 3 teeth); lower margin entire (no
teeth); median leaflets 25-40 cm long, 30-40 mm wide.
Pollen cones 2-3, fusiform, yellow, 40-60 cm long, 10-12 cm diam.
Seed cones 2-3, ovoid, yellow, 40-60 cm long, 15-16 cm diam.
Seeds oblong, 30-40 mm long, 20-25 mm wide, sarcotesta yellow.