Additional notes (click to expand)


S. Africa, widespread, in moist forest. Shade or filtered sun. Frost tender.

Endangered species on CITES Appendix I


There is a video by Dr Henry Oakeley
Videos from the garden link

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

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, South Tropical Africa, Mozambique
  • Africa, Southern Africa, Cape Provinces
  • Africa, Southern Africa, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Africa, Southern Africa, Swaziland

Encephalartos villosus Lem.

Genus: Encephalartos
Species: villosus Lem.
Common names: Poor man's cycad
Distribution summary: Temperate S.Africa
Habit: Cycad
Hardiness: H1c - Heated greenhouse; warm temperate
Habitat: Understorey and margins of evergreen forest
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Wolfson Terrace (T)
Reason for growing: Toxic

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