Cycads of southern Africa

Cycads of southern Africa

Cycads of southern Africa - Southern Africa : To collate data on Cycads from gardens and the wild in southern Africa. With 38 species of Cycad in southern Africa in two genera (Encephalartos with 37 species and Strangeria) southern Africa is a world Cycad Hotspot. Cycads date from the Permian

To collate data on Cycads from gardens and the wild in southern Africa.

With 38 species of Cycad in southern Africa in two genera (Encephalartos with 37 species and Strangeria) southern Africa is a world Cycad Hotspot.

Cycads date from the Permian (280 million years ago) when they were far more diverse before the evolution of flowering plants. Most are palmlike with a trunk (which may be underground), leaves and cones, with separate sexes.

Unfortunately, Cycads are hardy and store and transport well, recovering amazingly when replanted, making them prized collector's items and resulting in poaching at alarming levels.
The Red List status of our Cycads is 3 Extinct in the wild, 12 Critically Endangered, 4 Endangered, 9 Vulnerable and 7 Near Threatened - leaving only 3 species not threatened with extinction. By far the biggest threat to Cycads is the poaching of plants from wild populations to supply domestic and international markets. There is also much wastage - damaging and killing of plants not removed, dying in transport and storage - and so many more Cycads are poached than are available to meet demand.
All South African Encephalartos species are protected under provincial and national legistlation, most especially NEMBA (National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004). Permits (issued in terms of the Threatened or Protected Species' Regulations or provincial legislation) are needed if you have cycads in your possession, if you breed, move, transport, buy, sell, or trade or pick, whole plants or their parts. Ensure that your plants are legal and that you are not breaking any laws - make sure that you have all necessary permits!

(note most localities on iSpot are displayed on a 10X10km grid to protect localities as these are sensitive species. If you need data on localities, please contact SANBI for access to this sensitive data).

[[ Poster courtesy of EWT - https://www.ewt.org.za/species%20factsheets/Cycad%20poster%20A1.pdf ]]

25 Apr 2017
Tony Rebelo