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E. hilderbrandtii

E. Hildebrandtii Described in 1874 endemic to Tanzania and Kenya this handsome medium to large cycad can be found growing in near coastal districts in sparse deciduous forests and savannah grasslands. The climate is hot and humid in summer with mild and dry winters. The grey stem has a dry papery texture and is patterned with large and small leaf-base scars and is know to reach 6m in length and a diameter of 35cm. The 2 to 3.5m glossy dark green multi lobed prickled leaves are erect to spreading, reducing in size towards the base of the rachis, becoming trifid and bifid prickles and finally a series of simple thorns continuing almost to the base of the rachis. Female cones are a dull yellow in colour and seeds are bright red. It is reported that this specie is not damaged by the peasant farmers of the region as they believe the cycads have magical powers which can shield their villages from diseases.

Example of an adult Hildebrandtii

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