Gymnosperm Database
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Encephalartos ghellinckii


Common names

Drakensberg cycad, Mont-aux-Sources cycad; isiDawu (Zulu) (Palmer & Pitman 1972).

Taxonomic notes


"The stem reaches a height of about 10 feet (roughly 3 m) and bears a somewhat open crown of straight or inward-curving leaves up to just over 3 feet (1 m) in length. These have very dense, pointed leaflets distinctively narrow - the middle ones less than [2-4 mm] wide - untoothed, with the margins rolled back, and bear a striking resemblance to fossil cycad leaflets of many million years ago. They are woolly and a greyish colour when young, becoming smoother and greenish-yellow or deep green with age. Two to 5 brown, densely woolly cones up to about [25 cm] long are borne together in the heart of the tree. The female cones, slightly shorter than the male, bear yellowish seeds. The cones resemble those borne by E. friderici-guilielmi Lehm. and E. cycadifolius (Jacq.) Lehm., but these species have broader leaflets" (Palmer & Pitman 1972).

Distribution and Ecology

South Africa: "The mountains - often high mountains - from near Flagstaff in the Transkei to roughly Mont-aux-Sources in Natal" (Palmer & Pitman 1972).

Big tree





"The specific name honours M. Ed. de Ghellinch de Wolle, 'a noted amateur horticulturalist of Ghent'" (Palmer & Pitman 1972).


See also

Jones (1993).

Last Modified 2012-11-23