Main site sections:
Plants section links:

Location

  • San Diego Zoo

Species Collection

Gardens

Plants: Species

Cycad: Thunberg's Cycad Encephalartos altensteinii

FAMILY: CYCADACEAE (Cycad Family)

It's a historic misnomer: The Encephalartos longifolius pictured is called Thunberg's cycad because it was supposedly one of the first cycads Carl Peter Thunberg collected on his trip to South Africa circa 1775 and sent back to the Kew Cardens. His specimen is still growing in the Palm House at Kew, which makes it more than 235 years old! It was recently discovered, however, that the cycad has long been misidentified. It's actually an Encephalartos altensteinii rather than a longifolius! So the altensteinii should really be the plant called Thunberg's cycad.