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Piet Retief's cycad

Encephalartos lebomboensis

Lebombo cycad (Eng.), Broodboom (Afr.)

The Piet Retief cycad is highly endangered and occurs only in the upper-catchment areas of the Pongolo River. It is usually single-stemmed, but may produce up to 4 stems. Leaves are bright green and 1m long. Female plants produce 1 - 4 cones per crown. Cones are cylindrical, 25 - 30 cm in length, green-yellow to pale-yellow, and produce red seeds.

Planning

Difficulty
Advanced
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring

Harvesting

Harvest seed when mature and loose from the cone.

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
Remove suckers when they have developed their own roots.

Special features

Geography

Origin
South Africa, Pongolo River
Natural climate
Hot summers, cool winters, summer rainfall

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
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

Generally problem free.
Red Scale
Red Scale
Aonidiella auranti

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