This Encephalartos altensteinii stem surface shows erect, pointed, woolly bracts alternating with rounded, scale-like, persistent leaf bases on the reptilian stem surface. These markings become pale lower down and as the stems age. Near the leaves there is still some dark green colouring visible upon the stem surface.
Apart from having branched long ago to produce the thick old stems standing beside each other, further suckering has recently positioned a small new leaf cluster at the top of a third young stem emerging in the centre of the plant in picture (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Hugo, 2014).
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