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Critically endangered, due to habitat loss, and illegal collecting.
Distribution & Habitat:
This species grows in open grassland on steep slopes at an altitude of about 1500 metres in a very small mountainous area on the border between Swaziland and the Republic of South Africa. It has hot summers and cold winters. It gets summer rainfall of about 1200mm per annum.
It is an arborescent cycad with a stem up to 3 m tall and 25-35 cm in diameter. It has light/bright green, semiglossy, flat leaves up to 1.25 metres long.
This plant is very closely related to E. paucidentatus, but it is generally smaller, with shorter, lighter coloured leaves, that are more upturned which forms a cup-shaped crown.
This species is notoriously difficult to cultivate. Mature plants seldom survive transplanting; they either dry out or sucomb to fungal attack. They also rarely cone in cultivation and as such, seeds are very rare. Due to this rarity, and difficulty in cultivation, it is highly sort after by collectors.
Andre Cilliers (Figure 1&2)