|Locality: This species is endemic to the Witbank and Middelburg districts of South Africa. They occur in fragmented populations, and their habitat is rocky soil and outcroppings in grasslands and valleys. The climate is hot and dry (getting most of their rain in the summer months). Winter months can be cold and experience periodic freezes.
Plant Size: This is a medium sized species. Leaves are approximately a meter and a half to almost two meters. Stems can reach an excess of ten meters over the centuries and have the tendency to sucker moderately (though this can vary).
Other Characteristics: This is a beautiful blue Encephalartos species. In shade, like many of the blue Encephalartos, this species will not appear nearly as blue. Its name is derived from the habitat in which it was discovered (i.e. the Middelburg district of South Africa). Leaves are armed with prickles, but depending on cultivar the degree can vary. Larger, older specimens tend to bear less spines than younger juvenile plants. This is another species from the Transvaal region of South Africa. This is noteworthy are some of the rarest and most beautiful species of Encephalartos hail from this region. E. middelburgensis is a moderate grower, and tends to flush annually. The female cones on this species are a yellow, green with fine brown tomentum, where male cones are much darker in appearance covered in a dark brown tomentum.
Culture: In coastal and inland areas this plant needs to be in the sun. For desert areas, partial sun or filtered light is adequate. I recommend a soil that drains quickly for this species. Excessively wet soil will lead to rot problems with this species.
Landscape Usage: As this plant can get some size to it, you’ll want to give it some room. It is not a rapid grower, but they will gain size more quickly than you would think. They should be situated in the mid-level of a garden, where they will not be too close to seating of a walkway. Do not crowd this plant as they will make a full crown of beautiful blue leaves. In time this will become one of the more attractive plants in your garden.
Availability: We usually will have several sizes of this species for sale. Rarely we’ll get a larger plant from a private collection. We often have seedlings. Although hard to find, this is definitely a species worthy of the collector.
Pricing: Encephalartos middelburgenis is some how expensive, especially when larger. Typical prices, when available,