South Africa is considered a critical centre of cycad diversity. Of the 37 cycad species occurring in South Arica, 29 species are endemic to the country, i.e. they occur nowhere else in the world. Five of South Africa's cycad species are already extinct in the wild, almost 65% are likely to become extinct in the wild due to the collection of plants from the wild.
This guide is a practical easy-to-use guide for the identification of indigenous cycad species of the genus Encephalartos. The guide was developed with the layman in mind for practical use in the field or garden. It is not intended as a scientific taxonomic publication on the indigenous cycad species.
The photographs included greatly assist in the often difficult task of identifying species. Clear photograph of each species, an identification key and the outstanding features of each species is included. The 37 Encephalartos species are divided into six groups according to the leaflet shape, colour, width, margin and flexibility