Native to South Africa.
This plant has very different leaves and cones compared to other Encephalartos species.
The stem/trunk can be 1 m high with dark green leaves up to 2 m long.
The leaves are slightly keeled (‘V’ shaped in cross section).
The midribs curve slightly.
Leaves are once divided into leaflets that are reduced to spines at the base of the leaf.
The wide ovate leaflets, which may or may not overlap, are up to 15 cm long.
They have 2 or 3 teethed lobes on each side.
They can be flat or the edges may curl up slightly.
There is a marked difference in colour between the two surfaces.
Male and female cones are a bright red or orange-red.
The narrower male cones are up to 40 cm long and the ovoid female ones up to 50 cm.
The seeds have a red coating.