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Encephalartos altensteinii: Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Encephalartos altensteiniiEncephalartos altensteinii also known as the Eastern Cape Giant, is a robust, tall-growing cycad, with deep green glossy leaves reaching 6-9 feet long and leaflets held in a V-shape along its leaves. Its trunk can grow to over 15 feet tall over hundreds of years, at about one inch per year. Encephalartos altensteinii, distinguishes itself from other large green South African species by its straight leaves, broad, well-spaced leaflets with very few spines at maturity, and its basal leaflets do not reduce to spines. Please click here to see a larger detailed image of this plant.

We believe Encephalartos altensteinii is the best growing large green cycad for California and the Southwestern USA, because it is cold-tolerant, heat-tolerant, sun-tolerant, resilient and a relatively fast grower.

Encephalartos altensteinii, native to South Africa's Eastern Cape Province, grows in exposed positions through to heavily forested areas. It does best in well-drained soil in sun, preferring part day shade in dry climates. It is frost-tolerant.

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Encephalartos altensteinii