Modjadji Cycad, Encephalartos transvenosus

Encephalartos transvenosus is a palm-like cycad species plant. The species is also referred to as the Modjadji Cycad. It belongs to the Zamiaceae family. The plant is described as a tall and majestic tree.

The species’ name, transvenosus, references the plant’s tiny network of veins found in between the plant’s main veins. They become visible when its leaf is held up under a light.

E. transvenosus can grow up to 38 feet tall. Its trunk is thick and covered in a netted pattern. Its spiny, straight and shiny leaves grow up to 8 feet long. The leaflets are quite broad, growing to around 1.2 inches wide. They are slightly curved with tiny teeth. In the center of the leaves between 2 and 4 cones are produced. This plant has separate male and female specimens for reproductive purposes. The female plant’s cones may reach 30 inches in length and it produces bright red seeds.

E. transvenosus is native to South Africa throughout regions of pure forests on several hills near Duivelskloof. It is one of the only pure cycad forests in South Africa.

Image Caption: Modjadji cycad, (Encephalartos transvenosus). Credit: JMK/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)