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A picture of a Eastern Cape Cycad

Eastern Cape Cycad

Encephalartos altensteinii

Also known as

Oos-Kaapse Broodboom (Afr.), Umphanga, Umguza, Isundu (Xhosa), Prickly cycad, Cycad

Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)

Full Shade
Moderate care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Eastern Cape Cycad

A photo of Eastern Cape Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Cycad
A photo of Eastern Cape Cycad

Eastern Cape Cycad Overview

This giant cycad grows in dense coastal vegetation and riverine bush along the Eastern Cape coastline. The base of the cycad is often enlarged and tapers towards the crown. Leaves can be 2 -3 m long. Female plants produce 1 - 5 cones per crown. These cones are egg-shaped, 40 -50 cm in length, yellow, covered in fine brown hair, and produce red seeds. This is a common feature plant. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal.

Common problems with Eastern Cape Cycad

Scale and rotting are the main obstackles!

How to harvest Eastern Cape Cycad

Not usually harvested

How to propagate Eastern Cape Cycad


Sow fertile seeds in moist potting soil with added sand to help draining and prevent rot.


Allow suckers to grow at least two years attacked to the mother plant to develop enough reserves to survive as new plant. Make a clean cut to remove and sterilise the wound with Flowers-of-Sulphar to help heal.

Special features of Eastern Cape Cycad

Indoor plant

Drought resistant

Pot plant

Attracts birds

Other uses of Eastern Cape Cycad



The Afrikaans name 'Broodboom' came from the traditional use of the pith as bread - note that Cycads is toxic and it needs a 3month fermentation process to break down those toxins!