Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 07/07/2014


Photo taken on July  2, 2013



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Keywords

jardin botanique
Montreal Botanical Garden
Encephalartos villosus
Jardin botanique de Montréal
Encephalartos
Québec
Botanical Garden
Montréal
Canada
cityscape
Poor Man’s Cycad


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Poor Man's Cycad – Botanical Garden, Montréal, Québec

Poor Man's Cycad – Botanical Garden, Montréal, Québec
The name Encephalartos is derived from the Greek and means "bread in the head." This refers to the practice of making flour from the starch contained in the stems of these plants. There are some sixty Encephalartos species, all of them native to Africa. Poor man’s cycad is the most widely distributed and cultivated.

Very little of the plant is visible. E. villosus has a largely underground trunk with a crown of showy arched leaves up to three metres tong. This has led it to be improperly categorized as a dwarf species. The crown of the plant is made up of tightly packed bracts covered in dense wooly grey hair. Its scientific name "villosus" actually means hairy.

E. villosus is a dioecious plant. This means that there are separate male and female specimens for reproduction. Male plants may produce up to 15 cones. The female plant usually carries only about 1 or 2 cones. Its seeds are embedded in bright red flesh and are largely distributed for reproduction by common birds in the area. This specimen is a female plant. It produces large cones with seeds that turn fleshy, resembling bright red dates. The plant at the Montreal Botanical Garden remains infertile because there is no male plant to fertilize it.

Gerald Schmitt has particularly liked this photo


Comments
pajmcb
pajmcb
Fabulous shot!
Lovely picture!
3 years ago.