A medium sized cycad with trunk about 2.5m tall. Usually solitary, but sometimes clustering. Leaves are dark green, and up to 2m long


Distribution & Habitat

This robust medium-large cycad grows in the Mulanje mountains of Malawi and Mozambique, in deciduous forest, in rocky gorges, and slope, in a habitat receiving 40-70 inches of rain per year.


Cultivation & Propagation

Encephalartos gratus, though of restricted range, is relatively common in collections because of the high rate of viability of the seeds and the large numbers of seeds produced on a single plant. It is easy to cultivate, and growth is very rapid. Sizable plants can be produced from seed in 10 years. Seed is easily set on cultivated plants where weather conditions permit them to be grown in the ground. It has been reported that female plants may sometimes remain leafless 12 – 18 months after ripening seeds.



This species can produce more cones than any other species of Encephalartos. It is also a very slow grower, requires full sun and very good drainage.

References & Acknowledgements:

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Encephalartos gratus
Encephalartos gratus