Karoo Cycad, Encephalartos lehmannii

Encephalartos lehmannii
is a cycad species plant. This species belongs to the Zamiaceae family. It may also be referred to as the Karoo cycad.  Professor J.G.C. Lehmann, a German botanist, studied and published on the cycad and the plant’s name is commemorative in his honor.

The Encephalartos lehmannii species is native to the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. It is a low growing plant that can be found on sandstone slopes and ridges. This palm-like species is often found among other low growing herbs and shrubs. E. lehmannii survive in very arid environments, this plant has endured and adapted to the drought conditions over time.

E. lehmannii grow to heights reaching almost 7 feet tall. Its trunk is approximately 17.72 inches in diameter. The plant’s trunk may or may not be branched. Its leaves are blue or silver colored. Leaves can reach lengths of 5 feet long and are strongly keeled.

The E. lehmannii is a typical cycad, it is a dioecious species. This means the plants are either male or female. Male plants contain cones measuring up to 13.8 inches that have a green or brown coloration. Female cones are around 19.7 inches long and are similarly colored.

The E. lehmannii species is currently labeled “near threatened”.

Image Caption: Karoo Cycad, (Encephalartos lehmannii) from Longwood Gardens. Credit: Raul654/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)