The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos laurentianus

Encephalartos laurentianus De Wild., "Etudes Fl. Bas et Moy - Congo 1: 10, t. 25" (1903). H—BR
"TYPE: Zaire, Kwango River, Kasongo-Lunda, Gentil 98, 21 Sep 1902 (holo BR)."

Etymology: Honoring 19th Century Belgian collector Emile Laurent, who introduced plants of this species into cultivation.




Historical notes: Described in 1903 by Belgain botanist - De Willd..

Distinguishing features: Very long leaves; large thin leaflets; yellowish green cones with persistent reddish brown tomentum and wrinkled scale apices; numerous long stalked pollen cones

Distribution and habitat: Angola and Zaire (DR of Congo), restricted to the Kwango River valley along the common border, in closed gallery forest along the river and on open slopes above.

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


Plants arborescent; stem 15 m tall, 100 cm diam.

Leaves 400-700 cm long, dark green, highly glossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis green, gently curved, somewhat lax, not spirally twisted; petiole straight; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, strongly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle horizontal; margins flat; upper margin heavily toothed (more than 3 teeth); lower margin heavily toothed (more than 3 teeth); median leaflets 35-50 cm long, 40-70 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-6, ovoid, yellow, 17-35 cm long, 6-10 cm diam.

Seed cones 2-6, ovoid, yellow, 35-40 cm long, 18-20 cm diam.

Seeds ovoid, 40-50 mm long, 25-30 mm wide, sarcotesta red.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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