Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos paucidentatus

Encephalartos paucidentatus Stapf & Burtt Davy, "Fl. Transvaal & Sw. 1: 40 & 99, fig. 4a" (1926).
"TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Transvaal Province, Zoutpansberg Distr., Breslau, Limpopo River, Legat H5185 (holo PRE)."

Photo Ken Hill

Etymology: Latin pauci, few, and denta, teeth




Historical notes: Described in 1926 by English botanists Otto Stapf and Joseph Burtt Davy.

Distinguishing features: A robust, tall-growing species with glossy dark green leaves. Mature leaves are straight and flat, with leaflets tending to droop away from the rachis. Leaflets do not overlap, and are entire or carry 1-2 spines on the margins, and 2-4 basal leaflets reduce to prickles, although leaving some clear petiole. It is thought to be closest to E. transvenosus, which has broader, overlapping leaflets with 3-6 prickles, and E. heenanii, which has shorter trunks, shorter leaves that are held stiffly erect and often twist at the tips, and entire leaflets.

Distribution and habitat: Swaziland and South Africa, Transvaal Province, in mountain forests with fairly high rainfall.

Conservation: 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category V.
Photo Ken Hill


Plants arborescent; stem 6 m tall, 40-70 cm diam.

Leaves 150-250 cm long, dark green, highly glossy, flat (not keeled) in section or reflexed (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° 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 lanceolate, strongly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle horizontal to obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 15-25 cm long, 20-35 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 40-60 cm long, 12-15 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-5, ovoid, yellow, 35-50 cm long, 20-25 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 30-35 mm long, 18-20 mm wide, sarcotesta red.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
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