Encephalartos chimanimaniensis is a species of cycad that was endemic to the Chimanimani Mountain grasslands on the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, in areas of high rainfall (over 1,800 mm per annum), and at an altitude of about 1,000 metres above sea level. It is a member of the E. manikensis complex, a group of robust cycads.
It is a medium-sized cycad that grows to about 2 metres tall, with a stout erect trunk, occasionally clumping with bright green glossy leaves to about 1.5 metres long, with 1-6 spines on each margin, green cones and red seed-coats.
It was initially known as a rare and critically endangered species, only known from a single site in the catchment of a river. Recent field surveys have been unable to locate more individuals. The species appears to have been wiped out by collectors and is now considered extinct.
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Tends to sucker well and is very adaptable in cultivation. The seedlings grow rapidly, developing into an attractive garden plant with 1 m long leaves in four to five years. This is one of the fastest growing cycads and responds well to cultivation provided it has a well-drained soil, frost-free conditions and regular watering during the dry months.
It is an adaptable plant well suited to subtropical climates. It can be grown in full sun without its leaves burning. When young they can be grown as a container plant and eventually transplanted into the garden.”
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