The stem tip of Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi is covered in cataphylls that are densely woolly, forming a pale brown crown.
A cataphyll is a specialised form of leaf not performing a photosynthetic function for the plant, often only scale-like in appearance. It serves to protect, store or perform structural support, a sacrificial organ that serves, not protecting its own survival. Cataphylls may show some green colouring, but usually die and drop off or remain as a dry protective covering on the plant.
Stem tip hairiness in this species is particularly evident when new leaves or cones are developing (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Hugo, 2014; Wikipedia; www.plantzafrica.com).