A picture of a Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Encephalartos altensteinii

Also known as

Prickly cycad, Cycad

Full Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

H5-H1c

RHS hardiness

-15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

7m

Max

7m

2m

Min

2m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

A photo of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Eastern Cape Giant Cycad Overview

This giant cycad grows in dense coastal vegetation and riverine bush along the Eastern Cape coastline. The base of the cycad is often enlarged and tapers towards the crown. Leaves can be 2 -3 m long. Female plants produce 1 - 5 cones per crown. These cones are egg-shaped, 40 -50 cm in length, yellow, covered in fine brown hair, and produce red seeds.

Common problems with Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Scale and rotting are the main obstackles!

How to harvest Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Not usually harvested

How to propagate Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Seed

Sow fertile seeds in moist potting soil with added sand to help draining and prevent rot.

Suckers

Allow suckers to grow at least two years attacked to the mother plant to develop enough reserves to survive as new plant. Make a clean cut to remove and sterilise the wound with Flowers-of-Sulphar to help heal.

Special features of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Indoor plant

Drought resistant

Pot plant

Attracts birds

Other uses of Eastern Cape Giant Cycad

Ornamental

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!