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Products > Plants - Browse By Plant Category > Cycad > Encephalartos altensteinii
 
Encephalartos altensteinii - Prickly Cycad, Bread Tree
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Cycad
Family: Cycadaceae (Cycads)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Height: 10-16 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Encephalartos altensteinii (Prickly Cycad, Bread Tree) - This evergreen cycad from moist areas of South Africa is extremely slow growing. The rigid, palm-like fronds are about 6 feet long, with numerous stiff, spiny-toothed leaflets. It does best in the full sun and has low water needs. It will eventually reach 10 to 16 feet tall (very old plant) and is more likely to be 3 to 4 feet tall in the garden after many years. Listed by South African sources as a frost tender species but we have found it tolerant of light frosts and has withstood short duration freezing temperatures of 26 F in our garden. In its native habitat it is found in coastal areas of the Eastern Cape Province through to the southern border of Natal growing in full sun or in the heavy shade under the canopy of the forest.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Encephalartos altensteinii.
 
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