Encephalartos ferox - Zululand Cycad
Native to the coastline of South Africa, in Southern Mozambique and Northern Natal providence.
Subterranean, single stemmed codex with dark green, arching, holly like leaflets each with distinctively lobed teeth on both the upper and lower margins. This specimen gathers it name from the latin word ferocious, likely due to the sharp, spine-tipped lobes.
The most striking feature of these plants are their spectacular orange-red to scarlet cones which contrast beautifully with their attractive dark green foliage.
The Red List of South African Plants
, an assessment of all of South Africa’s indigenous plant taxa, lists Encephalartos ferox as Near Threatened. The major threats affecting this species include over-collecting for ornamental purposes, and natural habitat destruction due to coastal developments and agricultural projects.
Where in the Garden: African Bank
Photos: Rachel Cobb and Lisa Reynolds