Cycad Society of South Africa

Updated Sunday - 24/06/18

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First Announcement

CYCAD 2018, the 11th Conference on Cycad Biology, is to be held next year in South Africa.

It will be hosted by the Cycad Society of South Africa. We are not exactly novices, having hosted the 3rd Conference in 1993. It will be organised under the  auspices of the Cycad Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In order to have your name entered on our mailing list for future announcements, send an Email message to Wynand van Eeden at or Dr Piet Vorster at


The Conference will take place from 19 to 24 August 2018. The program will be announced as soon as it has been finalised. August is at the end of our winter, when the days are balmy rather than hot, the rains are still some way off, and the exquisite African plants start budding and flowering.


The Conference will take place at a lodge near Nelspruit. This is at the foot of the escarpment, close to the Kruger National Park. The Lowveld National Botanical Garden in Nelspruit has a very good collection of Encephalartos.

What are we offering?

The Conference will be similar in structure to previous Conferences in the series. It will be a weeklong event with four or five days of research presentations
arranged as symposia, and a surprise mid-week excursion.

Because non-professional aficionados are not always interested in the procedures and results of cutting-edge research, we hope to organise parallel symposia on subjects close to the hearts of collectors. We acknowledge the important contribution of non-professional cycadophiles to the expansion of our knowledge of cycads, and encourage as many collectors as possible to attend the Conference.

Proceedings of the Conference: as with previous Conferences, the papers presented will be published in a volume of Proceedings. These papers will be peer reviewed. We see the Proceedings in a very serious light. We consider all the papers to further our knowledge of cycads, rather than contributing to disciplines like anatomy or physiology, and accordingly we would like to publish them in the Proceedings rather than have them scattered in some other journals, which may not be readily accessible to the general cycadophile. For this reason we would like to include all the presented papers in the Proceedings. We aim to publish the Proceedings as rapidly as possible and therefore papers, with completed manuscripts handed in at registration, will get preference.

Field trips: There will be pre- as well as post-Conference field trips to see cycads in their natural habitats. Watch this space for details.

Accommodation: We are not going to put you in a 5-star hotel. Instead our accommodation will be convenient, clean, and safe; but breathing the atmosphere of the African bush. We guarantee bird song by day, the voices of the bush at night, and who knows, the far-off call of a jackal or the roar of a lion before you enter dreamland.

Our food will be of the kind you only get in Africa. You definitely don’t have to be adventurous to enjoy our dishes. However, if you have special dietary preferences, we can accommodate you.Our beer is amongst the best in the world, not to mention the famous Cape wines, and we even manufacture Coca-Cola.

Acquisition of plants: in South Africa, cycads are strictly protected by local laws as well as international agreements. Nevertheless we will try to make available, especially to our foreign guests, a range of seedling plants at affordable prices. We will try to arrange for someone with experience of exporting plants to organise transport and export permits on your behalf, and ship your plants to your homes.

We fervently hope to see you here next year for the Conference of your life!


Follow this link for more info on cycad2018, to register, book accommodation and MUCH MORE……
Link to Facebook Post




Encephalartos cycadifolius in the Winter Berg, Eastern Cape, producing ovulate cones.

Photograph: Allan Tait.

The contents pages of previous issues of Encephalartos

ISSUE 123 – March, 2016

From the council/Van die raad

  • Van die President/From the President – J.Kloppers
  • The Cycad Society of South Africa: statement of financial position at 31 December 2014
  • Biography of John Kloppers / Biografie van John Kloppers
  • Sentraaltak van die Broodboomvereniging van Suid-Afrika – J. Kloppers
  • News from KwaZulu-Natal – D. Nel
  • News from the Lowveld – I. Vermaak
  • Nominations for the post of honorary Secretary-treasurer .


  • Reproduction in the Australian rainforest cycad Bowenia serrulata (Cycadales: Zamiaceae) – G.W. Wilson
  • Recent advances in the biological control of cycad aulacaspis scale – W. Tang and R.D. Cave
  • Report on an expedition to the Mangrove Islands and Northern Andes of Colombia in search of cycads: a pictorial report – P. Vorster and W. van Eeden

Letters to the Editor/Briewe aan die Redakteur

How to become a member

At the moment this website does not support online membership application and payment, but we are working on it. Please follow these steps to join below:

If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download, in PDF format, and print an

Annual membership fees are outlined in the About page.

Publication of the Draft Biodiversity Management Plan for the Eleven Critically Endangered and Four Endangered Encephalartos (Cycad) Species

Kindly take note that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has published the Draft Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for 11 Critically Endangered (CR) and 4 Endangered (EN) Encephalartos Species under Section 43(1)(b)(i) read with Sections 43(3) and 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004.

Members of the public are invited to submit to the Minister of Environmental Affairs (Ms Edna Molewa), within 30 days of the publication of the notice (5 June 2015), written representations on, or objections to the draft BMP directly….read more

The latest branch activities are available at the following pages



This archive can be ordered from the Secretary at


The Cycad Society of South Africa is proud to present to you a complete set of the Society’s journal, Encephalartos, from its first issue made available to its members in March, 1985. Since then the journal has continued to be a valuable source of information on cycads, their morphology, their cultivation and as a platform to share general information regarding cycads. The introductory words of the very first issue states that there are numerous reasons why people (collectors, botanists, horticulturists, nurserymen and conservationists) are interested in cycads. The challenge of the society is to combine all these interests, into one unit and it is in this sense that the society’s differing interests provide a platform for sharing of knowledge on cycads to its members and the public at large.

Over the past 27 years, covered by the journals in this digital archive, the Encephalartos journal has grown in leaps and bounds. The quality and detail in the articles have increased and contributions are received from all over the world. From professional scientists to the general hobbyist.
In keeping with the society’s credo to promote all aspects of knowledge of cycads, and to foster a lively interest in these plants, the society has compiled this digital archive of the first 102 issues of Encephalartos spanning from 1985 to 2010 for those interested in cycads. The cycads have been with us for perhaps 100 million years, but in recent times their numbers and perhaps diversity in nature have dwindled due to competition with flowering plants. Perhaps the single most serious threat to their continuing existence is man, collecting wild plants for ornamental applications. On the scientific front we have lately learnt that these plants have very specialised pollinators, and that re-establishment in nature is unlikely to be successful without profound knowledge of the biology of these plants. Against this background, we firstly promote interest in, and appreciation of, these plants by propagating and growing them as horticultural subjects, and secondly we actively encourage scientific research and the documentation thereof so that we can keep the captive and remaining wild plants alive in years to come.


Die Broodboomvereniging van Suid- Afrika bied met trots ‘n volledige stel van die vereniging se joernaal, Encephalartos aan, vanaf die eerste uitgawe sedert Maart, 1985. Sedertdien is die joernaal beskou as ‘n baie waardevolle bron van inligting oor broodbome, hulle morfologie, kweking en dien as ‘n platform vir die uitruil van broodboom inligting. Die inleidende woorde van die eerste uitgawe noem dat daar verskeie redes is waarom mense (versamelaars, plantkundiges, tuinboukundiges, kwekers en natuurbewaarders) belangstel in broodbome. Die uitdaging van die vereniging is om hierdie uiteenlopende belangstellings, tot ‘n eenheid saam te snoer, nie net vir sy lede nie, maar ook vir die publiek.
Die digitale argief, vervat die inhoud van die afgelope 27 jaar se Encephalartos joernale. Die kwaliteit en detail in die artikels het gegroei en verbeter en bydraes word ontvang van regoor die wêreld. Vanaf die professionele wetenskaplike tot die algemene versamelaar.

In lyn met die vereniging se credo om kennis oor al die aspekte van broodbome te bevorder, asook ‘n groeiende belangstelling in broodbome te kweek, het die vereniging hierdie digitale argief van die eerste 102 uitgawes, van Encephalartos vanaf 1985 tot en met 2010 saamgestel. Broodbome is alreeds met ons vir etlike miljoene jare, maar in meer onlangse tye het hulle getalle asook diversiteit in die natuur drasties afgeneem. Bedreiging vanaf die mens kan beskou word as een van die grootste faktore wat hiertoe bygedra het, veral as dit kom by die versameling van plante uit die natuur vir ornamentele doeleindes. Op die wetenskaplike front het ons geleer dat hierdie plante gespesialiseerde bestuiwers het, en sonder ‘n volledige kennis van hierdie simbiose is dit onwaarskynlik dat daar hervestiging in die natuur sal plaasvind. Dit is teen hierdie agtergrond, dat ons eerstens die belangstelling en waardering van hierdie plante wil bevorder deur die kweek en aanwas daarvan. Ten tweede wil ons die wetenskaplike navorsing en dokumentering daarvan aanmoedig, om sodoende die plante in die natuur ‘n kans op oorlewing te gee.

Gebruik hierdie digitale argief om jou eie kennis in die kweek van broodbome aan te vul, en ook om jou kennis te deel met ‘n groeiende broodboomgemeenskap.