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Kei cycad

Encephalartos princeps

The Kei cycad is indigenous to the eastern Cape, and specifically to the Kei River catchment area. Leaves are blue-green, maturing to a grey-green. Female cones are barrel-shaped and 30 - 40 cm in length and produce red seeds.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Fruiting time
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Harvest seed when mature and colored.

Propagation

Seed
Naked seeds grow on female plants and need pollen from male plants to be fertile. Sow fresh fertile seeds in sandy soil and keep warm and moist. Germination can take 1-3 months.
Suckers
Allow suckers to grow attached to the motherplant for about two years until they have enough reserves to survive on their own. Remove with a clean cut and use flowers-of-sulphar to help the wounds to heal.

Special features

Geography

Origin
South Africa, Eastern Cape, Kei-river
Natural climate
Temperate Coastal

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
The Afrikaans name 'Broodboom' came from the traditional use of the pith as bread - note that Cycads is toxic and it needs a 3month fermentation process to break down those toxins!
Notes
Ornamental

Personality

Family
Zamiaceae
Flower colour
Scent
None

Problems

Few, but include mealy bug and scale insects.

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