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Encephalartos altensteinii/Bread Tree, Giant Cycad

Encephalartos altensteinii / Encephalartos altensteinii
Large Cycad with thick trunk and suckers growing out of the basal portion
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Large Cycad with thick trunk and suckers growing out of the basal portion

Close-up view of fronds with spines on tips of foliage

Flowering specimen growing in a Southern California botanical garden

Cone in center of a rosette of foliage

Close-up view of a cone

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Scientific Name: Encephalartos altensteinii
Common Name: Bread Tree, Giant Cycad
Plant Type: Evergreen
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 9, 10, 11 Determine Your Zone
Height: 5-8 feet
Spread: 3 -5 feet
Bloom time: Winter
Flower color: Red
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist
Rate of Growth: Slow
Water Requirement: Low
Maintenance Level: Low
Landscape Categories:
Comments: This is reported to be one of the oldest container-grown plants in the world. It is a long-lived Cycad which can survive for hundreds of years. Reported to be quite common in tropical landscapes. Makes a superb specimen in conservatories and other glass houses where temperatures can be controlled. In early times the pith of the plant would be removed for making bread.