Encephalartos Transvenosus 




Encephalartos Transvenosus

Encephalartos transvenosus is a palm-like cycad in the family Zamiaceae, with a localized distribution in LimpopoSouth Africa. Its common names, Modjadji(‘s) cycad or Modjadji’s palm, allude to the female dynasty of the Lobedu people, the Rain Queens, whose hereditary name is Modjadji. The queen resides near a valley (of late a nature reserve) which is densely forested with these cycads, which they protected and hold sacred. The species name transvenosus refers to the fine network of veins between the main veins. These can be seen when the leaf is held up to the light.

The tree grows up to twelve meters tall with a thick trunk deeply scored in a netted pattern. This is crowned by nearly straight, shiny, spiny pinnate leaves up to two and a half meters long. The leaflets are broad, the middle ones up to about three centimeters in width, slightly curved and with small marginal teeth. Two to four large cones are borne in the heart of the leaves. The female cone may reach eighty centimeters long, weigh thirty four kilograms and have brilliant orange-red seeds.


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