Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family


Genus Encephalartos

The genus Encephalartos was first described by Johann Georg Christian Lehmann in 1834. It is composed of the Greek en, in, cephale, head, and artos, bread. The generic name refers to the starch obtained from the stems. This was used as food by some indigenous tribes.


Southern African Species

Most of the individual species pages are still under construction but will eventually contain photographs, a description and a list of references. An effort is made to have photos of the species in habitat, male and female strobili, leaf detail and seed detail to illustrate it better. This database is very small at the moment but growing steadily. Please contribute if you have good photographs. If habitat photos are not available, photos of plants in cultivation will be used.

South African Cycads Info Chart (Plantzafrica)



African Species

Although Encephalartos species are well known in South Africa, the same cannot be said for the rest of Africa. Much work has been done by Peter Heibloem and Douglas Goode, to name just two, to document tropical species. Both authored books on the subject. This list will undoubtedly grow as more species are found and described in the future.

  • E. turneri
  • E. whitelockii
  • E. barteri subsp. barteri
  • E. barteri subsp. llochrous
  • E. bubalinus
  • E. chimanimaniensis
  • E. concinnus
  • E. delucanus
  • E. equatorialis

  • E. gratus
  • E. hildebrandtii
  • E. ituriensis
  • E. kisambo
  • E. laurentianus
  • E. macrostrobilis
  • E. sclavoi
  • E. septentrionalus

  • E. marunguensis
  • E. munchii
  • E. poggei
  • E. pterogonus
  • E. schaijesii
  • E. manikensis
  • E. schmitzii
  • E. tegulaneus