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Open 23/09/2008
Update 25/03/2020
Unique Session 1,103,032
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Encephalartos horridus

Encephalartos horridus
Stem: Mainly aerial , erect and unbranched although suckering freely, often causing the plant to develop into a multi-stemmed clump. The stem can attain a length of 1.1 m, of which at most 0.7 m will be above ground due to the action of contractile  roots. The stem can be up to 300 mm. in diameter and its apex is covered by hard pungent cataphylls.
Leaves: Initially a silvery-blue on upper side which gradually change to dark green as outer wax layer wears off. The lower side of the leaf is lighter green with less wax. The basal part of leaf is straight, but the terminal part curves strongly downwards and inward to resemble a coiled watch spring in some cases. The leaves are stiff and 0.6-1.0 m long. The pp-angle increases from 10-40 degree at the leaf apex to 130-170 degree at the blade’s base. The pr-angle increases from 50-90 degree at the leaf apex to 80-90 degree at the blade’s base. The s-angle is+10 degree to + 40 degree at the leaf apex and change to become -20 degree to – 40 degree at the blade’s base. Leaflets do not shield one another but their lobes do sometimes shield one another incubously at the leaf apex.
Petiole: 120-220 mm long and the base has a pronounced reddish brown collar.
Median leaflets : 100 mm long and 25-30 mm wide. They are hard and without nodules. The leaflets have 1-3 pungent lobes which point in different directions. The upper surface of the leaflets is convex transversely with the leaflets margin rolled inwards. Longitudinally, the leaflets are generally straight or slightly concave on the upper side. Basal leaflets: These are lobeless and decrease in size to single spine at most.
Cultivation: The plants grow slowly and is frost hardy. It is very susceptible to rotting under wet conditions, especially if the drainage is inadequate. It thrives best and develops its grey colour to fullest potential if exposed to full sunlight. It is readily propagated from seed and suckers.
Note: Two forms of the species are sometimes postulated – the “ordinary” Uitenhage form and the “dwarf” Port Elizabeth form with shorter stem and leaves. The differences are, however, apparently  due to differences in the two habitats because they disappear when plants from the two localities are grown together in a garden situation.
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