Photo Andrew Shaw
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The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos msinganus

Encephalartos msinganus Vorster, S. African J. Bot. 62(2): 67-70 (1996). H—PRE
"TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Kwazulu-Natal, near Tugela Ferry, near Msinga, P. Vorster 2949a (holo PRE iso K, LE, MO, FTG)."


Etymology: From the Msinga district, south-eastern Natal, with the Latin termination -anus, of.

Literature:

Illustrations:

Vernacular:

Historical notes: Described in 1996 by South African botanist Piet Vorster. Formerly in included in a broad "E. lebomboensis" (see E. senticosus), although long known as a distinct regional variant.

Distinguishing features: Within the E. lebomboensis - E. natalensis group, this species is separated by the combination of narrow, usually dentate leaflets and verrucose cone-scales. It is vegetatively intermediate between E. senticosus and E. natalensis in leaf form and overall stature.

Distribution and habitat: South Africa - Natal, in the Tugela Ferry district, in grassland among boulders on steep slopes.

Conservation: 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category E.
Photo Andrew Shaw

Description:

Plants arborescent; stem 3 m tall, 35 cm diam.

Leaves 110-150 cm long, light or bright green, highly glossy, moderately keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 90° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff or gently curved, somewhat lax, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles, spine-free for 2-10 cm; leaf-base collar not clear; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, strongly discolorous, overlapping downwards, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth); median leaflets 14-17 cm long, 16-20 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-4, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 30-40 cm long, 11-12 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-2, ovoid, yellow, 42 cm long, 22 cm diam. Verrucose.

Seeds oblong, sarcotesta red.


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