Additional notes (click to expand)


South Africa and N. Coastal districts of E. Cape., to S. Natal, subtropical and temperate regions. Full sun or shade. Tolerates light frost.

Endangered species on CITES Appendix I


Seed is poisonous if ingested. Consumption of the seeds can lead to liver cancer,

Toxic due to presence of azoxyglycosides, such as macrozamin and cycasin. Carcinogenic and teratogenic on ingestion .
Professor Anthony Dayan, 2022

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Southern Africa, Cape Provinces
  • Africa, Southern Africa, KwaZulu-Natal

Encephalartos altensteinii Lehm.

Genus: Encephalartos
Species: altensteinii Lehm.
Common names: Prickly Cycad
Distribution summary: Temperate South Africa
Habit: Cycad
Hardiness: H3 - Half hardy; unheated greenhouse/mild winter
Habitat: Rocky slopes
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Plants in pots (POT)
Reason for growing: Toxic

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