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Products > Encephalartos longifolius 'Joubertina Blue'
Encephalartos longifolius 'Joubertina Blue' - Blue Long-leafed Cycad

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Cycad
Family: Cycadaceae (Cycads)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Encephalartos longifolius 'Joubertina Blue' - A medium-sized clumping cycad, ultimately growing to up to 14 feet tall with up to 10 stems but rarely seen at half of these proportions in cultivation. It has to 6 foot long bluish leaves with leaflets arranged in a distinct V shape pattern and leaflets overlapping towards the tip. This species has among the largest and heaviest cones of the South African cycads with with olive-green female cones nearly 2 feet tall by over 1 foot in diameter and weighing nearly 80 lbs. The browinsh males cones are nearly as tall but narrower (6-8 inches in diameter) and are sometimes borne in groups up to 3. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to infrequently. Listed as hardy to around 26 F, though we have had it exposed and undamaged in temperatures a degree colder. The species is found in a wide range of habitats in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa but the blue form has a more restricted distribution west of Joubertina in the Kouga Mountains This species and the cloesly related Encephalartos lehmannii are the westernmost cycads in South Africa with overlapping distributions and possible naturally occuring hybrids. This species was discovered in 1772, making it one one of the earliest cycads in South Africa to be scientifically described. During a trip to the Eastern Cape, Swedish botanist, Carl Peter Thunberg noted this plant, though he mistakenly thought it was a juvenile form of a plant he named Zamia caffra, now known as Encephalartos caffer. It is widely distributed in the southwestern parts of the Eastern Cape with this blue form coming from the furthest west from near Joubertina in the Kouga Mountains. The name for the genus comes from Greek words 'en' meaning "within", 'kephali' meaning "head" and 'artos' meaning "bread" or "bread in head" which is a reference to the use of the starchy substance in the trunks of some species in times of desperation by native tribes. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'longi' meaning "long" and 'folius' meaning "leaf" in reference to the relatively long leaves of this species compared to other Encephalartos. 

This information about Encephalartos longifolius 'Joubertina Blue' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.