Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos longifolius

Encephalartos longifolius (Jacq.) Lehm., Pugill. 6: 14 (1834). ?

Encephalartos longifolius var. angustifolius Miq., Monogr. Cycad 56 (1842).

"TYPE: ""in Ins. Pavon. cult."" Zamia pungens cited."
Encephalartos longifolius var. latifolius Regel, Trudy Imp. S.-Petersburgsk. Bot. Sada 3: 113 (1873).
TYPE: E. almasianus h. Paullowsk. Cited.
Encephalartos longifolius var. revolutus Miq., Monogr. Cycad 55 (1842).
"TYPE: ""in Ins. Pavon. cult."" Enc revolutus cited ."

Etymology: Latin longis, long and folius, leaf




Historical notes: Described as a species of Zamia in 1775 by French botanist -- Jaquin.

Distinguishing features: The slightly dull and slightly greyish leaves with entire leaflets arranged in a distinct V and overlapping towards the end of the leaf characterise this species. These leaf characters and the very large green to greenish brown cones distinguish this species from other green species from the eastern Cape Province (E. altensteinii and allies).

Distribution and habitat: Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, in dense scleromorphic shrubland on steep rocky slopes.

Conservation: 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants category V.
Photo Ken Hill


Plants arborescent; stem 4 m tall, 30-45 cm diam.

Leaves 100-200 cm long, dark green or blue green, semiglossy, moderately keeled (opposing leaflets inserted at 80-120° on rachis); rachis yellowish, straight with last third sharply recurved, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with no prickles; leaf-base collar prominent; basal leaflets not reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, strongly discolorous, overlapping upwards, not lobed or with 1-2 lobes on upper and median leaflets, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat, or incurved; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth), or lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 20 cm long, 20-30 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 40-60 cm long, 15-20 cm diam.

Seed cones 1-3, ovoid, green, 40-60 cm long, 30-40 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 40-50 mm long, 20-30 mm wide, sarcotesta red.

The Cycad Pages

© 1998-2012 Royal Botanic Gardens Sy dney
Written and maintained by Ken Hill 1998-2010
Maintained by Leonie Stanberg and Dennis Stevenson 2010-2012
This site is currently not being maintained