This old specimen of Encephalartos lehmannii has taken to lying down. The easy life of retirement does not mean it will not continue for a long time; probably outlive most of those admiring it around the time of the photo. Belonging to a slow growing kind of cycad, it took a long time to reach this life stage, well deserving some respite.
The yellow collar at the base of the leaves typifying this species, can be detected on the old stem. Reclining is also in its nature and of some other Encephalartos species. Others may remain erect, however, and proudly tower over some neighbours for many centuries. Note the suckering of new rosettes, branching at the base.
One or more of them may carry this time travelling plant into distant futures we cannot imagine. This plant adorning a hillside in the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden at Worcester will hopefully remain here to delight many more generations of visitors who become happier and better human beings from recognising nature.
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