Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos aemulans

Encephalartos aemulans Vorster, S. African J. Bot. 56(2): 239-243 (1990). H—PRE
"TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Northern Natal, Ngotsche district, 1000 m alt 20 (frond and male cone), Apr 1988, P. Vorster 2951a (holo PRE iso K, MO, LE, FTG)."

Photo Ken Hill

Etymology: Latin aemulans, equalling, from the very similar seed and pollen cones.




Historical notes: Described in 1990 by South African botanist Piet Vorster.

Distinguishing features:

Distribution and habitat: Known from a single mountain in Natal Province, South Africa, in low shrubland on sandstone screes and cliffs.

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


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

Leaves 120-200 cm long, light or bright green, highly glossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis yellowish, 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, overlapping downwards, 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 12-15 cm long, 16-18 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-4, ovoid, yellow, 29-38 cm long, 14-18 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-4, ovoid, green to yellow, 35-40 cm long, 20-23 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 25-30 mm long, 15-20 mm wide, sarcotesta red.

The Cycad Pages

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Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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