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Encephalartos gratus var. manikensis

Gorongowe cycad, Manica cycad

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionCycadophytaAll cycads—primitive palm-like plants
OrderCycadalesLiving cycads (most are extinct)
FamilyZamiaceaeCycas that are superficially palm- or fernlike
GenusEncephalartosBread palms, bread tree, or Kaffir bread because they produce a breadlike starchy food

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This cycad originates in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and is not found in the wild in North America.

Identification: These robust cycads have stout trunks up to 5′ (1.5 m) high. Leaves are 3-6′ (1-1.9 m) long, composed of about 60 pairs of pinnae (leaflets), with lower pairs becoming smaller. The largest pinnae are 4½-6″ (12-15 cm) long about ¾-⅞″ (2-2.5 cm) wide, tipped with one or two spines. Male cones 10-24″ (25-60 cm) tall occur in groups of 1-4. Female cones are somewhat larger, and woolly. These are an endangered species.

Online References:

in Flora of Zimbabwe

The Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Red List of Threatened Species

Wikimedia Commons

Encephalartos manikensis


Encephalartos gratus var. manikensis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Encephalartos gratus (Gorongowe cycad, Manica cycad)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, Cali­fornia

Range: Zones 9a-11:

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