The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos chimanimaniensis

Encephalartos chimanimaniensis R.A. Dyer & I. Verd., Kirkia 7: 147-158 (1969). H—PRE
"TYPE: Mozambique, Chimanimani Mt, Munch 443; 444; 554 (holo PRE, SRGH) (= Munch ex Christian 770; SRGH, PRE); (= Dyer & Verdoon 5868; 5869; PRE)."

Etymology: From the Chimanimani Mountains, eastern Zimbabwe, with the Latin termination -ensis, place of origin.




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. pterogonus and E. munchii).

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.

Distribution and habitat: Known only from the Chimanimani Mountains on the broder between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, in grassland on granite mountains.

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


Plants arborescent; stem 1.8 m tall, 45 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); straight, stiff, slightly twisted in some leaves; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not overlapping, 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 12-18 cm long, 20-25 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-3, fusiform, green, 50-70 cm long, 8-10 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 40-45 cm long, 18-20 cm diam.

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

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
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