Encephalartos ghellinckii

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Figure 1. E. ghellinckii


Common Names:

Drakensberg Cycad


The provinces of Natal and Transkei, South Africa.

Distribution & Habitat:

Rocky slopes and grasslands of mountainous regions, between 700 and 2400 m altitude. It is an area of climatic extremes, with warm to hot dry summers, and very cold winters (heavy frosts and snow being common in parts).


A medium sized clumping cycad (up to 3 stems) which can be recumbent or erect, with the stems up to 3m long. Young leaves are covered in grey hears. Leaves are leathery grey/green.


Sunny, very well drained position. Dislikes heat and humidity. Well suited to dry temperate areas. Frost tolerant and slow growing.

Figure 2. E. ghellinckii
Figure 3. E. ghellinckii in habitat, near Champagne castle in the Drakensburg mountains.
Figure 4. Close-up of previous.

Contributed by:

Dr. Andre J. Cilliers (Figure 1,2,3&4)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums