The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos pterogonus

Encephalartos pterogonus R.A. Dyer & I. Verd., Kirkia 7: 147-158 (1969). H—PRE
"TYPE: Mozambique: Mt Mruwere, north of Vila Pery, Oct 1949, Munch 451 (holo PRE, iso SRGH)."

Etymology: Latin pteron, wing, and gonas, seed, from the wings extending from the microsporophylls




Historical notes: Described in 1969 by South African botanists R. Allen Dyer and Inez Verdoon, who separated the previously broadly defined E. manikensis into a number of segregates, primarily on differences in pollen cone morphology (see also E. concinnus, E. munchii and E. chimanimaniensis).

Distinguishing features: A member of the E. manikensis complex, a group of robust cycads from the region of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border with stout erect trunks of medium height, leaves with short petioles and numerous reduced spine-like leaflets, median leaflets with 1-6 spines on each margin, green cones and red seed-coats. Characterised within the group by unique wings or lobes on the lower edges of the pollen cone scales that project beyond the terminal facets.

Distribution and habitat: Mozambique

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


Plants arborescent; stem 1.5 m tall, 40 cm diam.

Leaves 100-150 cm long, light or bright green, highly glossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 15-18 cm long, 20-25 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-3, narrowly ovoid, green, 30-38 cm long, 9-11 cm diam.

Seed cones 2-3, ovoid, green, 30-40 cm long, 16-18 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 30-35 mm long, 20-23 mm wide, sarcotesta red or orange.

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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