One of a group of dwarf central African species (the E. poggei complex) that also includes E. delucanus, E. schmitzii, E. marunguensis and E. schaijesii. Within this group, it is distinguished by the well-spaced, entire leaflets, yellow cones, stalked pollen cones, and sessile seed cones.

Plants arborescent; stem 2 m tall, 30 cm diam.

Leaves 70-150 cm long, blue green, semiglossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff or straight with last third sharply recurved, not spirally twisted or slightly twisted in some leaves; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets linear or lanceolate, strongly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle acute (less than 45°); margins flat; upper margin entire (no teeth), or lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin entire (no teeth), or lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 8-15 cm long, 7-13 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-3, narrowly ovoid, yellow, 10-30 cm long, 3-7.5 cm diam.

Seed cones 2-3, ovoid, yellow, 17-23 cm long, 9-12 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 20-33 mm long, 17-23 mm wide, sarcotesta red.

Distribution & Habitat

Southern Zaire, and north-eastern Angola. Open grassland. Sunny, well drained, sandy position. Frost sensitive. Plants in habitat are deciduous in winter.


Honoring Paul Pogge, 19th Century German collector in Central Africa and collector of the type. Described in 1878 by -- botanist - Ascherson. It is thought that elephants eat the seeds, and are thus the main seed disperser.

References & Acknowledgements:

  • Image - Luc Pauwels, Paul Latham, Frieda Billiet and Paul Bamps
  • Image - Angelo Porcelli
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney



Encephalartos poggei
Encephalartos poggei