|Photo Ken Hill
|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos laevifolius Stapf & Burtt Davy, Fl. Transvaal & Sw. 1: 40 & 99 (1926). H—K
- "TYPE: loc. unknown, Todd s.n. (holo K)."
Latin laevis, smooth and folius, leaf, in reference to the
lack of tomentum in comparison to the related E. lanatus.
Described in 1926 by English botanists
Joseph Burtt Davy.
The robust stems and relatively narrow entire leaflets emerging with a
bluish tint and turning dark green with age place this species nearest to
E. lanatus and E. friderici-guilielmi. It is distinguished
from both by the straight and flat leaves and the almost smooth crowns,
leaf-bases and cones.
Distribution and habitat:
South-eastern Transvaal Province and north-eastern Natal, South Africa, and
adjacent parts of Swaziland, in grassland or low shrubs on steep rocky
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
Plants arborescent; stem 3 m tall, 25 cm diam.
Leaves 150 cm long, blue or silver to blue green, dull, moderately
keeled or slightly keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 90-150° on
rachis); rachis yellowish, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole
straight, with no prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets not
reducing to spines.
Leaflets linear, weakly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed,
insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no
teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth); median leaflets 12-15 cm long, 5-7 mm
Pollen cones 1-6, ovoid, yellow, 30-40 cm long, 10 cm diam.
Seed cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 20-30 cm long, 15-20 cm diam.
Seeds ovoid, 25-27 mm long, 20-23 mm wide, sarcotesta yellow.