Cycad Society of South Africa

Updated Saturday - 24/03/18

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Cycad 2018 – 11th International Cycad Conference

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!

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