Encephalartos Latifron


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Encephalartos latifrons is a species of cycad that is native to Eastern Cape province in South Africa at elevations of 200 and 600 metres.

Encephalartos Latifron

This species is endemic to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.   There are a number of very small and scattered plants in two populations in habitat.  This species is on the verge of extinction, decreasing populations can be linked to poaching, agriculture and farming.  The climate is hot and dry, rarely freezes and gets very little rain during summer months (the “wet” season).  Plants grow in rocky soil and hills, in grasslands and amongst dry scrub brush vegetation.

Plant Size:  This is a medium sized plant.  Leaves can range in size from a meter to a meter and a half depending on cultivar.  Stems tend can reach  approximately three meters (ancient plant, this is a VERY slow growing species).

Other Characteristics:     This species name comes from the Latin words meaning “broad leafed”.  E. latifrons is exceptionally rare and has been on the brink of extinction for well over a century.  It has green or blue green leaves.  There are two distinct cultivars of this plant, “Trappes Valley” and ” green hills”.  Between the two types, the Trappes Valley form is more sought after.  It has wide leaflets with prominent lobes (a modified spine) which stack heavily.  The leaves also tend to be a bit shorter with a bit more curl (though curl can vary between plants).  The green hills variety has smaller leaflets which are spread further apart.  The leaves are longer and tend to have a more dull color.  Between the two types, the green hills cultivar is a better grower, but isn’t nearly as attractive.  E. latifrons tend to be dark green on the top of the leaflet and a lighter green (yellow green or blue green) below.  Also, they have prominent veining on the bottom side of the leaflet as well.  Leaflet are thick and sturdy, with prominent spines.  The petioles are armed as well, making this a fairly sharp species.  Female cones are a yellow green, where males cones are a blue green.

Dimensions 7 cm
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