This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek combination, alluding to the bread-like interior of the trunk). Cycadaceae. Excellent cycads from tropical and southern Africa, grown chiefly for their evergreen foliage.
The species are probably 20 or more, allied to Dioon and Macrozamia; with Stangeria, they constitute the peculiarly African representatives of the family. They are trees with stout cylindrical often fleshy trunks, and a terminal crown of stiff mostly spiny pinnate long leaves or fronds: flowers dioecious, in cones; staminate cone oblong, ovoid or cylindrical, the scales in many series, imbricate, thick and often rough, broadly or elongate-cuneate, with anthers on the under surface; pistillate cone ellipsoid or oblong, thick, the scales numerous in many series and imbricated, peltate, with the ovule beneath. For differences between this and related genera, see Vol. I, p. 120. From Dioon it is distinguished by its pinnate rather than pin-natifid leaves, and from Cycas by straight rather than circinnate segments in vernation, as well as by technical features of cones. These plants are specially suited for large conservatories, the fronds being not easily injured. They should succeed outdoors S. The trunks of some kinds grow only a few inches in many years. Most kinds prefer a sunny, tropical house, but E. brachyphyllus and perhaps others may be grown in a cool greenhouse if kept a little dry in winter. The cones are always interesting and often very decorative.
Those of E. villosus are twice as large as a pineapple, orange-yellow, half revealing the scarlet fruits They are prop, by seeds; also by offsets or suckers. Some other cycads frequently produce seed in conservatories, but Encephalartos seldom does, and plants are, therefore, usually imported. Dry trunks,, weighing frequently 50-75 lbs. have been received from S. Africa They often remain dormant for a year or more, and do not make ornamental specimens for two or more years. They are slow-growing, except in very warm houses. They like a strong, loamy sod. While making new growth they need plenty of water. See Cycas.
The woolliness of the stem and leaf-segments varies with the age of the plants and of the leaves. The pith and central portion of the cones of some species form an article of food among the Kafirs, hence the common name of Kafir bread. The most widely known species in cultivation are E. villosus, E. Altensteinii and E. pungens. Though very handsome cyads, they are by no means popular. They require much room for best results.
In the following descriptions "rachis" refers to the midrib of the leaf on which the leaflets or segments are borne, and "petiole" means the part of the leaf below where the leaflets begin.
a. Lfts, toothed (sometimes entire in the first). b. Petiole 4-angled: foliage glaucous. h6rridus, Lehm. Trunk short and stout, woolly or not: leaves to 6 ft., reflexed at top; lfts, opposite or alternate, lanceolate, mostly entire, sometimes toothed, with a sharp spine at the apex. variety glauca, is presumably more glaucous than the type. B.M. 5371. There is a variety trispinosus.
bb. Petiole sub-cylindrical: foliage not glaucous.
Altensteinii, Lehm. Trunk stout, not woolly: leaves 2-6 ft.; lfts, about 6 in. long and 1 in. broad, oblong-acuminate, paler beneath, edges and apex spiny; petioles swollen at base; lfts, mostly opposite, lanceolate. B.M. 7162-3. G.C. II. 6:392, 393, 397; III. 2:281; 12:489-493; 40:206 (showing a specimen in Cape Colony over 100 years old, with a high trunk and an offshoot over half way up). G. 7:516.
Lehm. Trunk short and thick, woolly and scaly, 6 ft.: leaves to 6 ft.; lfts, very numerous, opposite or alternate, linear-lanceolate, spiny-toothed and pointed. B.M. 6654. R.H. 1897:36. G.C. II. 1:513; 3:400; 7:21; 13:181.
aa. Lfts, not toothed (except in young leaves of the last one). B. Foliage glaucous.
Lehmannii, Lehm. (Cycas Lehmannii, Hort.). Trunk not woolly: rachis and petiole obtusely 4-angled; lfts, nearly opposite, narrowly or broadly lanceolate, to 7 in. long, rarely 1-toothed, with brown spine at apex. Gt. 1865:477.
bb. Foliage not glaucous.
c. Apex of lfts, mostly obtuse, pointless.
Lehm. Trunk not woolly, at length tall: rachis and petiole 4-cornered but flattish above; lowest lfts, often 1-3-toothed, margin somewhat revo-lute: wool soon vanishing from the rachis and leaflets S. Africa G.W. 5, p. 404. variety revolutus, Miq., has the margins more distinctly revolute. variety angustifolia has narrower, flat leaflets variety Hookeri, DC, has narrowly lanceolate leaflets, not glaucous but intense green, and rachis not woolly. B.M. 4903, erroneously named E. caffer, is referred to this place, though the lfts, are distinctly pointed in the picture.
cc. Apex of lfts, always strong-pointed.
d. Form of lfts, linear.
Lehm. (E. Friderici-Guilellmi, Lehm. E. cycadifblius variety Friderici-Guilielmi, Rod.). Fig. 1394. Trunk nearly globular, several inches in diam., woolly at first: rachis and petiole ashy-pubescent; lfts, opposite and alternate, linear, margin revolute. I.H. 29:459. G.F. 4:209 (adapted in Fig. 1394). G.W. 10, p. 377 (as E. cycadifolius variety Friderici-Guilielmi).
Fig. 1394. Encephalartos cycadifolius.
Lehm. (Zamia pungens, Ait.). Rachis and petiole glabrous; lfts, long-linear, dark green, rigid, flat, striated beneath, margin not revolute. variety glauca is also sold.
dd. Form of lfts, lanceolate.
Miq. (E. caffra, Hort.). Trunk to 18 ft. and
1 ft. or more diam.: leaves to 4 ft., very stiff, recurved; petiole 3-angled; rachis glabrous; lfts, alternate, narrower at the base, twisted, the younger ones with 1 or
2 teeth, to 6 in. long. R.H. 1869, p. 233. Not B.M. 4903, which is E. longifolius variety Hookeri.
Variety brachyphyllus, DC. (E. brachyphyllus, Lehm.). Rachis and blades of the lower lfts, spidery pubescent: male cones sessile instead of peduncled. The pinnae are erect, and longer and narrower than in E. caffer.
E. Barteri, Carr. stem short, about 1 ft. high and to 9 in. diam.: leaves to 5 or 6 ft. long, and 10 in. broad, erect or suberect; petiole and rachis with a gray tomentum that falls off; lfts, about 80 pairs, linear-lanceolate, sharp at the apex, few-toothed: male cone to 9 in. long, pale; female cone about 8 in. long, oblong-ellipsoid, dark olive. W. tropical Africa B.M. 8232. - E. Ghelllnckii, Lem. Spineless: trunk stout, woolly-scaly: leaves 3-4 ft., erect-spreading; pinnae very narrow-linear, densely tomentose. S.Africa I.H. 15:567. - E. Hil-debrandtii, A. Br. & Bouche. Trunk cylindrical: leaves pinnate, with numerous lanceolate toothed pinnae which become 3-parted scales toward the end of the If., woolly at least at first. tropical Africa G.C. III. 27:120. R.B. 29:196. G.W. 10, p. 210. An attractive species. - E. Laurentianus, Wildem. Large, the stem reaching 30 ft. or more and 2 1/2 ft. diam.: leaves often over 20 ft. long; lower lfts, small, 3-toothed; middle lfts, lanceolate, 12-16 in. long and 2 in. broad, spiny on both edges and at the apex.
Congo. G.C. III. 35: 370. Named for Professor Laurent. - E. Lemarineliamis, Wildem. & Dur. stem 3-7 ft.: leaves to 3 ft. or more; petiole shaggy; leaflets I860 on each side, rigid, coriaceous, glaucous, lanceolate, the edge slightly recurved, more or less spiny: male cone greenish, subcy-lindrical; female cone thick, green turning to salmon-color, short-peduncled, the scales triangular. Congo. Named for Capt. Lema-rinel. G.C. III. 35:371. R.H. 1904, p. 59. - E. Woddii, Hort. Allied to E. Altensteinii: stem 18 in. high and 8 in. thick, bearing about 25 leaves which are gracefully curved and reach 5 ft.: leaflets 8 in. long and 2 in. broad, spiny-toothed, the broadest ones pinnatifid. Zululand. G.C. III. 43:282. R.B. 34, p. 193. L H B†