A medium sized cycad usually with a subterranean
trunk or with a very short procumbent or reclining trunk to 2.5 m long
and 75 cm diameter, growing in clumps of 2 or 3 stems, with suckers
produced sparsely from the base.
10 - 25, obliquely erect to spreading,
forming a straggly to dense crown, 1 - 1.5 m long, light green, flat in
cross-section, straight in profile, arising at about 70 degrees from
8 - 15 per steam, 20 - 22 x 6 - 8 cm, narrowly ovate-cylindrical to ellipsoid, emerging erect, becoming drooping or pendulous.
1 - 4 per stem, 30 - 35 x 18 - 20 cm, ovoid,
green becoming yellowish brown, emerging erect but becoming drooping or
pendulous by maturity.
2.3 - 3.5 x 1.6 - 2.5 cm, oblong, angular, the sarcotesta bright red to dark red.
Distribution and Habitat
Occurs in northern Uganda and
southern Sudan, where it grows among rocks in sparse forest and grass
on slopes and plateaux of mountain ranges at about 1200 m altitude.
Fires are frequent. The climate is tropical, with hot, humid summers
and mild winters.
Although described as early as 1871, E.
septentrionalis still remains poorly known because the original
description of the species was very vague and no-one has studied the
plants at the type locality (Gumango Hill in southern Sudan) since
their discovery by Schweinfurth.
E. macrostrobilus has a longer trunk, many more leaves in the crown, much larger olive green female cones and yellow seeds.
Suited to tropical and subtropical regions.
Poorly known in cultivation. Plants will grown in full sun or filtered
sun. Requires excellent drainage. Frost-tolerance is unlikely to be
very high. Propagation from seed and by removal of basal suckers.