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Encephalartos longifolius

Encephalartos longifoliusEncephalartos longifolius , also known as the Long-Leafed Cycad, is a medium-sized cycad native to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. There, Encephalartos longifolius grows in full sun, wedged in sandstone, in a subtropical climate. Its dark green leaves grow to 6 feet long, strongly recurved, with keeled leaflets (held in a V formation), on a trunk, or series of clumping trunks growing to 15 feet tall over time.

Encephalartos longifolius is a relatively fast growing cycad, considered easy to grow. In a climate with humid summers, the Long Leafed Cycad grows well in direct sun, however, where summers are dry, Encephalartos longifolius needs afternoon shade. It requires excellent drainage and prefers slightly acidic sandy soil. It can tolerate a light frost.

Encephalartos longifolius leaves vary in color from dark green (Encephalartos longifolius classic form) to bluish green (Encephalartos longifolius Joubertina Blue, or “Blue Form”). Young leaves are covered in fine hair but this is lost as the leaves get older. Leaves are numerous and usually 3 to 6 feet long, recurved at their end.

Encephalartos longifolius leaflet spacing varies from moderately spaced to overlapping. Leaflets grow up to 8 inches long and 1.25 inches wide, and are normally entire but can have 1-3 teeth or notches on the lower margin. Tips may be spiny or rounded.

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Encephalartos longifolius