|Photo Ken Hill
|The Cycad Pages
- Encephalartos cupidus R.A. Dyer, Bothalia 10(2): 379-383 (1971). H—PRE
- "TYPE: Republic of South Africa, Transvaal Province, Pilgrims Rest Div., cultivated at White River, D. van Heerden PRE 30546 (holo PRE)."
Latin cupidus, desirable, from the striking form of the plant, thought by
the author to render it desirable to cycad collectors.
Described in 1971 by South African botanist
A dwarf species with little or no clear stem, readily recognised by the
short, keeled, twisted blue leaves with well-spaced leaflets bearing 3-6
slender spines on both margins, and the lower 2-3 pairs reducing to prickles
on the very short petiole. The similar E. nubimontanus is a larger,
often arborescent plant with longer, often recurved leaves.
Distribution and habitat:
A restricted species known from a small area in eastern Transvaal Privince,
South Africa, in open grassy situations on steep to precipitous rocky slopes
1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants
|Photo Ken Hill
Plants acaulescent; stem 0.15 m tall, 15 cm diam.
Leaves 100 cm long, blue or silver, dull, strongly keeled or
moderately keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 50-100° on rachis);
rachis blue, straight with last third sharply recurved, slightly twisted in some
leaves; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal
leaflets reducing to spines.
Leaflets lanceolate, concolorous, not overlapping, not lobed,
insertion angle horizontal; margins flat; upper margin heavily toothed (more
than 3 teeth); lower margin heavily toothed (more than 3 teeth); median leaflets
10-15 cm long, 10-12 mm wide.
Pollen cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 18-20 cm long, 5-8 cm diam.
Seed cones 1-2, ovoid, green, 18-20 cm long, 12-14 cm diam.
Seeds ovoid, 20-25 mm long, 15-20 mm wide, sarcotesta orange or