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Encephalartos chimanimaniensis R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.
Kirkia 7: 154 1969


Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Encephalartos manikensis complex

Encephalartos manikensis is a polymorphic species showing a considerable variation between populations from different sites and this has raised questions about the taxonomy of these populations, and some botanists (R. Allen Dyer and Inez Verdoon 1969), separated the previously broadly defined E. manikensis arguing that there could be as many as five (mistakable) specie. They all belong to what is called the E. manikensis complex and comes from the region of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. They are robust cycads with stout erect trunks of medium height, leaves with short petioles and numerous reduced spine-like leaflets, median leaflets with 1-6 spines on each margin, green cones and red seed-coats. They are segregated, primarily on differences in pollen cone morphology:

  • Encephalartos chimanimaniensis R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.: Pollen cones 1-4, fusiform, green, 50-70 cm long, 8-10 cm in diameter with curving scales. Distribution: Chimanimani Mountains, eastern Zimbabwe.
  • Encephalartos concinnus R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.: Pollen cones 1-4, fusiform, green, 30-50 cm long, 7-10 cm in diameter (smaller than E. manikensis). Distribution: Southern Zimbabwe.
  • Encephalartos manikensis (Gilliland) Gilliland: has pollen cones similar to seed cones, with scales that are thicker than those of E. concinnus, lack the curving seen in E. chimanimaniensis and lack the wings of E. pterogonus.
  • Encephalartos munchii R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.: has 1-6 bluish-green pollen cones, narrowly ovoid, 40-65 cm long, 7-9 cm in diameter and bluish-green leaves and leaflets with 3-6 spines on each margin. Distribution: Mozambique.
  • Encephalartos pterogonus R.A.Dyer & I.Verd.: is characterised within the group by unique wings or lobes on the lower edges of the pollen cone scales that project beyond the terminal facets. Distribution: Mozambique

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