Breadpalm, Encephalartos longifolius

Encephalartos longifolius
is a palm-like cycad species plant. The plant belongs to the Zamiaceae family. The species may also be referred to as the Broodbroom or Breadpalm. The species scientific name comes from Latin origins: longis (long), and folius (leaf).

E. longifolius can grow up to 10 feet tall. With age, it develops an extremely thick trunk. The cycad is crowned with metallic or dark green semi-gloss leaves. Its leaves can grow up to 7 feet long. The plant’s leaflets overlap upwards and have smooth margins.

The E. longifolius species is dioecious, meaning that for reproductive purposes the cycad has both male and female plants. The male plant produces 1 to 3 green cones. Female plants contain the same number of cones although its cones are more robust in nature. Both male and female plants produce red seeds.

This particular cycad species is found mainly in the coastal regions of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. E. longifolius can grow in very high altitudes and in many varying habitats. While it grows in a variety of places, it has been placed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Image Caption: Breadpalm, (Encephalartos longifolius). Credit: Tato Grasso/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)