Encephalartos horridus

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Distribution & Habitat:

Open rocky areas of the Easter Cape Province, South Africa.


A small cycad clumping to about 0.8m high, which forms a dense clump of intertwined leaves. Very hard, sharply pointed, distinctly blue grey leaves.


Probably the most famous of the "blue" cycads, due in part to its great name.


Prefers full sun, in a very well drained soil. Some growers are experimenting with scouria, but because this is rather porous, the fine roots grow into it, and are then ripped of when the plant is repotted. Another alternative being looked at is expanded clay balls, as used in hydroponics, which drains very freely, but isn't porous, so it doesn't trap the smaller roots.

Figure 2. E. horridus female cone

Contributed by:

Rolf Kyburz (Figure 1)
Angelo Porcelli (Figure 2)

External Links:

Cycad Pages, IUCN, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums