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Open 23/09/2008
Update 05/10/2018
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Identification of Encephalartos latifrons

Encephalartos latifrons
 
Stem: The aerially unbranched and erect stem produces suckers. The stem can attain a length of 3 m and diameter of 359 mm and never becomes reclining. The stem is exceptionally hard, with a density greater than that of water, and its apex is covered by hard hairlessหัวล้าน brown cataphylls which become woolly just before emergence of new leaves or cone.
Leaves: These are glossy dark green on the upper side and much lighter green and duller on the lower side. The rachis curves sharply downwards, especially near the apex. The leaves with intact from a “skirt” around the stem for years after having died. The leaves are rigid 1.0-1.5 m long and have pp-angle of 20-30 at the leaf apex which increases to 170-180 at the blade’s base. The pr-angle is 70-90 throughout the length of the leaf blade. The s-angle is +80 to +90 at the leaf apex and change to approximately 0 to +10 at the blade’s base. Leaflets are very crowed  and consequently shield one another extensively and incubously, especially in the distal half of leaf. Petioel: 160-180 mm long and becoming yellow with age. The leaf base has a conspicuous light brow collar. Median leaflets: 100-150 mm long, 40-60 mm in diameter and initially  with outer layer consisting of fine hairs. The upper surface of the mature leaflets is rough to the touch and the lower surface has slight longitudinal ridges. The leaflets are hard and have no nodules to many nodules. The upper side of the leaflet is slightly concave transversely but can be very convex when the longitudinal leaflets margins curve strongly downwards and inwards. Longitudinally the leaflets are straight or slightly convex on the upper side. The phyllodistal margin of the leaflets sometimes a solitary pungent tooth while the phylloproximal margin has 2-4 large triangular pungent lobes. The lobes are always twisted strongly out of the major leaflet plane. Basal leaflets: These decrease in size basipetally to simple unlobed structure, but not spines.  
Notes: Encephalartos lartifrons is sometime confused with E. arenarius, but mature plants can easy be distinguished by examining their leaflets. The upper side of E.latifrons leaflets is rough to the touch and the lower side has weak but distinct   longitudinal ridges,whilst both surface of E.arenarius are smooth and without ridges. In mature plants, the leaflets of E.latifrons are also more crowed, especially towards  the leaf apex, and are glossy bright green on upper side, while those of E.arenarius have a dull dark green colour on the upper side and more widely spaced on their rachis. The leaflet lobes of E.latifrons are also twisted more out the major leaflet plane than generally is the case in E.arenarius.
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