Author: David Becking

Encephalartos lehmannii

General Info Trees up to 2m high. Trunk: stern, sturdy. Pinnately compound silver blue to green Leaves up to 1,5m. Solitary dioecious Cones are greenish. Barrel-shaped female cones have red Seeds. Description Tree Encephalartos lehmannii. RSA Tree No. 8.1. Common names: Karoo Cycad, Bread Palm, Bushman’s River Cycad. Family:  Zamiaceae. This is a family of perennial cycads with 8 genera and about 200 species. They are only superficially palm or fern like. The cycad tap Root is soon replaced by lateral roots, which become woody. Cycads have coralloid roots that contain symbiotic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that fix atmospheric nitrogen in association...

Read More

Encephalartos dyerianus

General Info This dioecious Tree is up to 4m high and may sucker from the base. Leaves pinnately compound, lowermost leaflets reduced to prickles. 1-5 mature female Cones are yellow.   Description Tree Encephalartos dyerianus, Encephalartos graniticolus. RSA Tree No. 14.2 Common names: Lillie’s Cycad; Lillie-se-broodboom. Family: Zamiaceae. This is a family of perennial cycads with 8 genera and about 200 species. They are only superficially palm or fern like. The cycad tap Root is soon replaced by lateral roots, which become woody. Cycads have coralloid roots that contain symbiotic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that fix atmospheric nitrogen in association with root tissue and produce important amino acids for the plant. Stems are cylindrical and southern African species do not have persistent leaf bases. All are evergreen with pinnately compound Leaves. The Leaflets have parallel (or nearly so) veins. Name derivation. Encephalartos – within-head-bread: referring to the starchy bread that can be made from the pith of the inner trunk. The genus Encephalartos includes some of the most primitive living Gymnosperms. Unlike other members of the family Zamiaceae, species in the genus Encephalartos have leaflets that lack a central Midrib (vein). Diamond shaped leaf scars remain on the trunk. The hard prickly leaflets do not bend easily. The sunken leaf veins are parallel or almost so. Stomata are present on the lower surface and may occur above. All species are dioecious with male and female Cones...

Read More

Encephalartos kisambo

General Info This endangered Cycad is up to 3,5m high. Leaves are pinnately compound. Dioecious Cones: Female cones are up to 60 x 16cm. The fleshy Testa (seed coat) is yellow. Description Tree Encephalartos kisambo, E. voiensis. RSA Tree No. n/a: Not found in the RSA. Common name: Voi cycad. Family:  Zamiaceae. This is a family of perennial cycads with 8 genera and about 200 species. They are only superficially palm or fern like. The cycad tap Root is soon replaced by lateral roots, which become woody. Cycads have coralloid roots that contain symbiotic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that fix atmospheric...

Read More

Encephalartos paucidentatus

General Info Protected Cycad may reach 7m high. Pinnately compound Leaves with parallel veins are terminal. Dioecious Tree. Female Cones produce large red Seeds. Description Tree Encephalartos paucidentatus. RSA Tree No. 11. Family: Zamiaceae. This is a family of perennial cycads with 8 genera and about 200 species. They are only superficially palm or fern like. The cycad tap Root is soon replaced by lateral roots, which become woody. Cycads have coralloid roots that contain symbiotic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that fix atmospheric nitrogen in association with root tissue and produce important amino acids for the plant. Stems are cylindrical...

Read More

Oncoba spinosa

General Info Tree to 8m high, 0,6m wide. Bark – brownish and smooth. Thin, ovate to elliptic Leaves are simple. Stipules fall early. White Flowers with 3-4 sepals + 13 whorled petals. Globose Fruit 6cm wide + hard woody shell. Description Oncoba spinosa. RSA Tree No. 492. Common names: Snuff-box Tree, Fried-egg-flower. Family: Salicaceae: (Willow family) has recently been expanded and includes 55 genera and 1 000+ species. Trees may be deciduous or evergreen. Leaves are simple and they and the bark often contain Salicin (a bitter alcoholic glucoside related to aspirin). This glucoside can be used as an anti–inflammatory. However, it may cause a skin allergy). Flowers are genetically hermaphroditic, in catkins and usually lacking a normal perianth (a collective term for the calyx and corolla). A bract subtends each flower. There are 2-many Stamens. The superior Ovary has 2-4 carpels. The flowers are wind pollinated. Fruit is variable with many small wind dispersed seeds. Local genera include Dovyalis, Oncoba, Salix and Scolopia. Name derivation: Oncoba – from the Arabic name for the North African species. spinosa – spiny. O. spinosa is the only species of this genus in southern Africa. Conservation Status: L C. (Least Concern). 2009 (Raimondo et al.). Tree The Tree is about 6m high but may reach 8m. The trunk up to 0,6m wide. It can also be a shrub. Branches have conspicuous raised Lenticels (a usually raised...

Read More