This female cone of Encephalartos trispinosus was seen in Kirstenbosch during March. A bulging seed cone like this one may become up to 50 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter.
Yellow colouring tends to increase on the scales upon ripening, although cones are said to ripen in midsummer; this one taking its time. Some of the scale facet wrinkles associated with cones of this species can be seen here.
The graceful curves in the scale patterns of cycad cones (also occurring widely in life forms on earth), are associated with the number patterns of Fibonacci series; a compelling invitation to grow interest in mathematics, competing with the lure of the stars (www.plantzafrica.com).