One of a group of dwarf central African species (the E. poggei complex) that also includes E. delucanus, E. marunguensis and E. schaijesii. Distinguished by the short bluish green leaves with almost no clear petiole and the dark green to bluish green cones

Plants acaulescent; stem 0.3 m tall, 20 cm diam; 9 leaves in crown.

Leaves 40-60 cm long, blue green, semiglossy, strongly keeled; rachis green, straight with last third sharply recurved, not spirally twisted; petiole straight, with 1-6 prickles; leaf-base collar not present; basal leaflets reducing to spines.

Leaflets linear, weakly discolorous, not overlapping, not lobed, insertion angle obtuse (45-80°); 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 10-14 cm long, 8-10 mm wide.

Pollen cones 1-3, ovoid or narrowly ovoid, bluish-green or green, 8-10 cm long, 3-4 cm diam.

Seed cones 1, ovoid, blue-green or green, 20-25 cm long, 10-12 cm diam.

Seeds ovoid or oblong, 20-25 mm long, 20-25 mm wide, sarcotesta orange.

Distribution & Habitat

DR of Congo and Zambia, in the catchment of the Luapula River.



Common Name - SCHMITZ'S CYCAD, Listed on CITES Appendix I. Honoring Andre Schmitz, collector. Discovered in 1955 by Scmitz, who found a single male plant plant. A single female plant of the same species was found 10 years later, and the species was formally described in 1969 by Belgian botanist - Malaisse. Subsequent field studies in Zambia and DR Congo have shown this to be a widesread and common species.


References & Acknowledgements:

  • Images - Ken Hill
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney



Encephalartos schmitzii