A medium-sized cycad with a erect or leaning trunk
to 2.5 m tall and 70 cm in across ,growing in clumps with up to 12
stems, with suckers produced from the base.
Bluish green or light soapy green, covered with fine white hairs.
Numerous, obliquely erect to spreading crown,
2-4m x 50-90cm long, soapy green, dull, leathery, rigid, flat in cross
- section, straight in profile.
Creamy yellow to Orange two or three on each stem
40-60 x 10-12 cm narrowly cylindrical.
40 - 60 x 15 - 16 cm, cylindrical.
Distribution and Habitat
Endemic to southern Kenya, where it is
restricted to isolated mountains in the Voi district. The species
occurs as scattered populations among granite boulders on steep slopes
at 800 - 1200m altitude. Most plants grow in mist forest but some grow
in the open exposed situations. The climate is hot and humid in summer
and mild and dry in winter. Mists occur frequently in the morning and
evening and frosts are unknown.
The species has suffered badly at the hands of
poachers, with large numbers of plants being illegally collected.
Although this species is now protected by law in Kenya and the area
where it grows is now a water cachment, the latest threats to its
survival are vegetation clearing for charcoal extraction and human
Suited to tropical and subtropical and warm
temperate regions. A majestic and fast growing species which can be
grown in full sun but the best appearance is attained with some
protection from the sun. Responds to regular watering and mulching.
Sensitive to damage from frosts. Grows well in Adelaide and Perth with
some light frosts and a temperate, winter rainfall climate.