Photo Ken Hill
The Cycad Pages
Encephalartos ngoyanus

Encephalartos ngoyanus I. Verd., Fl. Pl. Africa 27: pls 1053-1054 (1949). ?H—PRE
"TYPE: Zululand, Ngoye, on grassy slopes near and among boulders, Veerdoon & Christian 716 male type 716b female type (?syn. PRE - herb not stated)."

Etymology: From the Ngoya Forest, Zululand, with the Latin termination -anus, of.




Historical notes: Described in 1949 by South African botanist Inez Verdoon.

Distinguishing features: The dwarf, subterranean habit with few stiffly erect leaves in the crown place this species with E. ngoyanus, E. cerinus and E. umbeluziensis. I is distinguished within this group by the short dark green leaves with a spine-free petiole and well spaced leaflets bearing 1-2 teeth on the lower margins, and lack of wool in the crown. Emerging leaflets are glossy and sparsely hairy, whereas those of E. caffer are dull and densely tomentose.

Distribution and habitat: Swaziland, South Africa, Transvaal and Natal provinces, in open grassland and forest margins, often among boulders,

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


Plants acaulescent; stem 0.3 m tall, 15-20 cm diam.

Leaves 50-125 cm long, dark green, semiglossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with no prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle horizontal; margins flat; upper margin entire (no teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 7-10 cm long, 8 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 20-25 cm long, 5-7 cm diam.

Seed cones 1, ovoid, yellow, 25 cm long, 12-15 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 25-30 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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