Encephalartos latifrons 1plant


Size:2.5cm($1171) 1Plant



Encephalartos latifrons

The relatively few collectors who possess mature specimens of Encephalartos latifrons have found that they grow well in cultivation, as is obvious from the healthy plants in the fine collection at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town, which was started more than 70 years ago.  The plants need very good drainage, however.  They would also require sufficient moisture and protection from frost.

The Encephalartos latifrons has the reputation of being a very slow grower.  Professor Charles Joseph Chamberlain came to this conclusion during his visit to Trappes Valley, near Grahamstown, in 1912 (Chamberlain, C.J. “The Living Cycads”). He spoke to “a pleasant, gray-haired lady”, the owner of a house where two specimens of E. latifrons and three of E. altensteinii were growing in the garden.  According to her, the plants were planted there “when she came to that house as a bride forty-six years before”.  She thought that the specimens of E. altensteinii might have grown 25cm (“a foot”) during that time, but “that the E. latifrons did not seem to have grown any, although they always had green leaves”.  Two or more years may pass between the formation of sets of leaves.


Nearly extinct in the wild due to poaching; now too widely dispersed for natural reproduction to occur (Jones 1993).

“The name latifrons means ‘broad-fronded’.

Encephalartos latifrons is believed the slowest growing of all the tree cycads.

“This species is sometimes confused with E. arenarius R.A. Dyer, which grows in scrub on the sand dunes in the Alexandria district. This, however, is a short species not reaching tree size” (Palmer & Pitman 1972).


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