This Encephalartos friderici-guilielmi plant was seen in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. The thickset stem displays horizontal rings, varying in colour and texture, representing what is left of vicissitudes of its life in a kind of recorded personal history.
It is not known how much of the stem growth occurred in the Garden, where it started off in life or how old it is. In habitat its “childhood” would have been in Karoo-like scrub or grassland of the Eastern Cape.
The grey-green leaves curve variously above the stem-tip, their thin and long leaflets positioned in narrow V-shape upon the rachises. The leaves do not achieve as robust and dense a crown as do some of the other cycads. The yellowish colouring typical upon the leaflet tips is present; also the dishevelled appearance of leaflet tips not staying in a straight line (Hugo, 2014; Coates Palgrave, 2002).