Wood's Cycad

Encephalartos Woodii


Wood's Cycad, or Encephalartos Woodii, is a cycad in the genus Encephalartos and is endemic to the oNgoye Forest of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The annual rainfall of the site ranges from 30-39 inches per year, and the climate has hot summers and mild winters. E. Woodii is one of the rarest plants in the world, being extinct in the wild, with all known specimens being clones of the type. The plant was discovered in 1895 by John Medley Wood, which is how the cycad formally got its' name.


Wood's Cycad is palm tree like, and can reach heights of about 20 feet. The trunk is about 12-20 inches in diameter, with it being thickest at the bottom and smallest at the top. It is topped with an impressive crown of large leaves that number from about 50-150. The leaves are glossy, and dark green in color, almost leathery to the touch. The plant also carries strobili, that are like pine cones. The male strobili are cylindrical, and they are a very vivid yellow color.
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E. Woodii is dioecious, which means that it has separate male and female plants, however, no female plant has ever been discovered. If a female plant is not discovered, then Wood's Cycad will never reproduce naturally. But there has been a way that has been discovered where you can cross breed the species with its' closest known relative enough to where it will simulate the females genes later down the road.
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