|Photo Ken Hill
|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos woodii Sander, Gard. Chron.: 257 (1908). ?
- TYPE: hort. Sander (?).
Honoring Medley Wood, curator of the
Durban Botanic gardens, who discovered this species.
Described in 1908 by English horticulturist
from a single male plant found in the Ngoya Forest by Wood. This plant had
several stems and
offsets, all of which were removed from the wild and taken into cultivation
over the decade
following its discovery. No other plants have been discovered, and this
consequently extinct in the wild and survives only in cultivation as
propagations from the original discovery.
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. woodii distinguished
in this group by the very long leaves with a gracefully curved rachis, the
very broad overlapping leaflets usually with 2-6 prickles on the upper
margin, the basal leaflets not reducing to spines, leaving a bare petiole,
and the dense woolly tomentum in the crown around newly emerging leaves.
Distribution and habitat: South Africa - Natal (see Historical
Extinct in the wild. Known only from male plants in cultivation, propagated
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
status Extinct (Ex).
|Photo Ken Hill
Plants arborescent; stem 6 m tall, 30-50 cm diam; 50-150 leaves in
Leaves 150-250 cm long, dark green, semiglossy, moderately keeled
(opposing leaflets inserted at 120° on rachis), with 70-150 leaflets;
rachis green, straight, stiff, slightly twisted in some leaves; petiole
straight, with 1-6 prickles, spine-free for 15 cm, 10-16 mm wide at lowest
leaflet; leaf-base collar not clear; basal leaflets reducing to spines.
Leaflets ovate, strongly discolorous, overlapping upwards, not lobed,
insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no
teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 13-15 cm long,
20-30 mm wide.
Cataphylls 40 mm long.
Pollen cones 1-6, ovoid, yellow, 20-40 cm long, 15-25 cm diam.
Microsporophyll lamina 50-70 mm long, 25-50 mm wide.