Encephalartos plants and species
Encephalartos including the species, gratus and ferox are a cycad originally from South Africa, Mozambique and Tropical Africa. Sometimes refered to as bread palms these are ornamental plants with large cones. Many species of Encephalartos make fantastic landscaping plants and are available for sale in Australia. The large cone formed in the centre of the plant is a real attraction. These are excellent plants for landscaping and creating a ‘tropical feel’ in the the garden.
Many species will grow as far south as Melbourne with E. altensteinii being suitable. Other species such as the smaller growing E. arenarius prefer more sun and are not tolerant of frosts at all. Encephalartos septentrionalis is another species that does not tolerate frost. Relatively small it will reach around 2m with lovely blue green foliage.
The popular Encephalartos ferox is one of the most widely used in landscaping, smaller than many with attractive glossy foliage, full sun to part shade. Like most Encephalartos species this one requires excellent drainage. Grows well as a potted specimen indoors in cooler climates. The attractive ‘blue’ speciesEncephalartos horridus is an excellent choice as a feature plant , the foliage being outstanding.
Encephalartos whitelockii is a large fast growing species from Uganda reaching 4m +, glossy foliage and a hardy plant in a sunny well drained position, this one will need a ‘little space’. Another that grows well as far south as Melbourne.
Care and growing Notes for Encephalartos species
Rememebr that some species are more frost tolerant than others, determine this when purchasing. All of the Encephalartos require good drainage, however some cope with part shade better than others. Pruning is not generally required other than a tidy up of old or damaged folaige.
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Encephalartos are available to buy online from the following nurseries
PARADISE DISTRIBUTORS – 07 5441 5921
EUDLO CYCAD GARDENS
321 Ilkley Rd Eudlo 4554 – Ph: 1800 072 999
6 acres of landscaped rockeries, 3000 cycads on display, 200 species, encephalartos specialist, Australia’s largest cycad range. Also aloes, agaves, euphorbia’s, cactus, palms, yuccas& succulents.Visit by appointment.