A member of the E. manikensis complex, a group of robust cycads from the region of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border 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. Characterised within the group by unique wings or lobes on the lower edges of the pollen cone scales that project beyond the terminal facets.

Plants arborescent; stem 1.5 m tall, 40 cm diam.

Leaves 100-150 cm long, light or bright green, highly glossy, flat (not keeled) in section (opposing leaflets inserted at 180° on rachis); rachis green, straight, stiff, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines

Leaflets lanceolate, weakly discolorous, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); margins flat; upper margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); lower margin lightly toothed (1-3 teeth); median leaflets 15-18 cm long, 20-25 mm wide.

Pollen cones 2-3, narrowly ovoid, green, 30-38 cm long, 9-11 cm diam.

Seed cones 2-3, ovoid, green, 30-40 cm long, 16-18 cm diam.

Seeds oblong, 30-35 mm long, 20-23 mm wide, sarcotesta red or orange.


Distribution & Habitat

Mt Mruwere, Mozambique, where a single colony was discovered. Rocky, hillside.



Latin pteron, wing, and gonas, seed, from the wings extending from the microsporophylls. Described in 1969 by South African botanists R. Allen Dyer and Inez Verdoon, who separated the previously broadly defined E. manikensis into a number of segregates, primarily on differences in pollen cone morphology (see also E. concinnus, E. munchii and E. chimanimaniensis).

References & Acknowledgements:

  • Images - Mike Gray
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney



Encephalartos pterogonus
Encephalartos pterogonus