Kei Cycad Overview
The Kei cycad is indigenous to the eastern Cape, and specifically to the Kei River catchment area. Leaves are blue-green, maturing to a grey-green. Female cones are barrel-shaped and 30 - 40 cm in length and produce red seeds.
Common problems with Kei Cycad
Few, but include mealy bug and scale insects.
How to harvest Kei Cycad
Harvest seed when mature and colored.
How to propagate Kei Cycad
Naked seeds grow on female plants and need pollen from male plants to be fertile. Sow fresh fertile seeds in sandy soil and keep warm and moist. Germination can take 1-3 months.
Allow suckers to grow attached to the motherplant for about two years until they have enough reserves to survive on their own. Remove with a clean cut and use flowers-of-sulphar to help the wounds to heal.
Special features of Kei Cycad
Other uses of Kei Cycad
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!