|Photo Ken Hill
|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos natalensis R.A. Dyer & I. Verd., "Bothalia 6(1): 205-211, pls 1-3" (1951).
- "TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Natal Province, valley of thousand hills, in Kloof, old female plant, Dyer 4475 (holo PRE)."
From the province of Natal, with the Latin termination -ensis, place
Described in 1951 by South African botanists
Allen Dyer and
A robust, tall growing species with deep green glossy leaves, leaflets held
in a V and yellow cones, very closely allied to E. altensteinii,
E. lebomboensis and E. woodii. E. natalensisis
distinguished in this group by the straight rachis, the broad, well-spaced
leaflets usually lacking prickles but sometimes with with 1-3 prickles on
each margin, the basal leaflets reducing to spines, leaving no bare
petiole, and the dense woolly tomentum in the crown around newly emerging
Distribution and habitat:
A widespread species in southern Natal Province, with outlying occurrences
in the north and in the eastern Cape Provinces, on rocky slopes and
outcrops, usually inland from the coast.
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
Plants arborescent; stem 6 m tall, 25-40 cm diam.
Leaves 150-300 cm long, light or bright green, highly glossy,
slightly keeled to flat in section (opposing leaflets inserted at
150-180° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted;
petiole straight, with 6-12 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal
leaflets reducing to spines.
Leaflets ovate, strongly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed,
insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no
teeth), or lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth), or
lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 15-25 cm long, 25-40 mm wide.
Pollen cones 1-5, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 45-50 cm long, 10-12 cm
Seed cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 50-60 cm long, 25-30 cm diam.
Seeds oblong, 25-30 mm long, 16-18 mm wide, sarcotesta red.