Encephalartos hirsutus

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Figure 1. Young plant of E. hirsutus.

Contents

Common Names:

Critically Endangered, possibly extinct in the wild.

Common Names:

Venda cycad

Distribution & Habitat:

This species was known from three separate localities in the Soutpansberg region of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Plants grew on exposed south-east-facing quartzite cliffs, in moist semi-deciduous mixed scrub from between 800 to 1,000m asl. The vegetation type is mainly Mountain Bushveld. The rainfall is between 350-650 mm per year.

Description:

This is a medium to large cycad with stems up to 4m (13 feet) long, and rigid, glaucous, bluish-silver leaves to 140cm (4.5 feet) long. The stems usually lie along the ground and terminate in a dense crown of leaves. The new leaves are covered in dense hairs, which weather quite slowly compared to other cycads, hence the name hirsutus, which means "hairy".

General:

Only described in 1996 by South African horticulturist P.J.H. Hurter, it belongs to a group of blue-leaved Transvaal cycads (E. dolomiticus, E. eugene-maraisii, E. dyerianus and E. middelbergensis).

Cultivation:

Likes a sunny, well drained position.


Figure 2. E. hirsutus female cone.


Contributed by:

Dr Andre J. Cilliers (Figure 1)
Peter Heibloem Cycad Gardens (Figure 2)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums