Encephalartos dolomiticus

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Figure 1. E. dolomiticus


Common Names:

Wolkberg cycad

Distribution & Habitat:

E. dolomiticus occurs (or perhaps more correctly, occurred) in the eastern Transvaal Drakensberg, where it is known from only a few sites. Here it was recorded in extremely rugged terrain. It was found it in short grassland with scattered small trees, apparently always associated with dolomite outcrops, hence the specific epithet. There are no climatological data for this remote region, but judging from the vegetation the annual rainfall probably amounts to 600mm to 800mm, and occasional frost may occur in winter.

Figure 2. E. dolomiticus female cone.


The stem is well-developed and often suckering from the base. It can be up to 2m long and 250mm to 400mm in diameter. Older stems are mostly leaning or procumbent when longer than one meter. The leaves are strongly glaucous ("blue"), straight but not very rigid and sometimes spirally rotated around the axis to give the plant a rather untidy appearance. The petiole is about 120mm long, and the complete frond about 800mm.


Only described in 1988, but already thought to be extinct in habitat, due to illegal collecting.


Likes a very sunny, very well drained position. Slow and difficult grower.


The Cycad Society

Contributed by:

Peter Heibloem Cycad Gardens (Figure 1&2)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums