The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos brevifoliolatus

Encephalartos brevifoliolatus Vorster, S. African J. Bot. 62(1): 61-64 (1996). H—PRE
"TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Transvaal, precise locality withheld, P. Vorster 2984 (holo PRE iso K)."

Etymology: Latin brevis, short and foliola, leaflet, from the shorter leaflets that distinguish this species from the very similar E. laevifolius.




Historical notes: Described in 1996 by South African botanist Piet Vorster.

Distinguishing features: Clearly closely related to E. laevifolius, with almost identical leaf and petiole morphology, and pollen cones (seed cones are unknown), but distinguished by the shorter and broader leaflets with distinctly recurved margins.

Distribution and habitat: South Africa, Transvaal, known from only 5 plants.

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


Plants arborescent; stem 2.5 m tall, 25-30 cm diam.

Leaves 80-120 cm long, dark green, semiglossy, moderately keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 135° on rachis); rachis yellowish, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with no prickles, spine-free for 9-20 cm; leaf-base collar not clear; basal leaflets not reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, strongly discolorous, overlapping downwards, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°) or acute (less than 45°); margins flat, or incurved; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth); median leaflets 6-8 cm long, 10-12 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-6, fusiform, 35 cm long, 6-7 cm diam.

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