Tip of the Week – Worlds Rarest Cycads

Encephalartos eugene maraisii

This month we have the privilege of introducing you to some of the rarest Cycads in the world today & then showing you some on video. Read about how rare and special these plants are. These are not only rare ancient plants but plants of great beauty and botanical interest. Often available at our nursery.


encephalartos, nubimontanus


Encephalartos nubimontanus ..Blue Form

Now extinct in the wild.


Encephalartos msinganus

Encephalartos msinganus

Native to one small area near Msinga South Africa. An estimated 100-200 matured plants are left in the wild & declining.


Encephalartos Whitelockii


Encephalartos whitelockii

From a solitary valley in Western Uganda in Africa it is on the highest category of their Endangered Classifications.


Encephalartos eugene maraisii

Encephalartos eugene-maraisii

This is a very rare silver-blue foliaged cycad from Transvaal South Africa.


About Cycads

Cycads are some of the oldest plants still living on the planet tracing back to the ancient Mesezoic period some 170 million years ago! Too tough for us but back in those hard to imagine days they were tasty food for the Dinosaurs walking the forests. There are only 347 living species in only 11 genera….. many of them rare and endangered or completely gone in their native habitat. Cycads are unrelated to any other living group of plants. Due to their rarity in the wild.. they are one of the most collectable of the valuable plants. These plants will look amazing in any rock garden and will fit in almost any landscape design ideas.

World Distribution

Cycads occur in most numbers on the continents of  Africa, Australia.New Guinea and South America but also occur in Central America, China, India Indonesia and the Caribbean Island, Madagascar & some Pacific Islands.


The eleven genera of Cycads are; Bowenia, Ceratozamia, Chigua, Cycas,  Dioon, Encephalartos, Lepidozamia, Macrozamai, Microcycas, Strangeria and Zamia.

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