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Merlyn2220

Fresh on the heels of my hugely popular and gripping tale of an unknown Encephalartos, I bring you the sequel!  Naaaaaame that plant!  :floor2:  Sometimes I have to amuse myself, ya know!

This one seems to be a medium-sized Encephalartos and it's showing a bit of bluish coloring now that it's out in more sun.  You can't really see that in the photos, but compared to a Hildebrandtii nearby it's definitely in the "slightly blue" category.  Part of this might be water spots from my well water, which should go away now that it's not in my overhead spray "tropical bed."  The leaves are slightly cupped and nearly spineless, with just small remnant spines along the bottom edge and occasionally 1 small spine on the top edge near the base.  Leaf tips are consistently swept forwards.  Leaves are noticeably keeled but it's hard to say if they would overlap or not.  The existing 3 fronds flushed in significant shade, but I planted it in almost 100% sun after a couple of week's acclimation.  Leaves have zero sunburn even with the short acclimation period.  The caudex is about 4 inches and the fronds are about 3.5-4 feet long.  Petioles are furry with leaves reducing to spines.

My initial thought was Munchii, because the leaves can be variable in color and amount of spines.  Being in rainy Floriduh and in shade it wouldn't be too blue, and I didn't even notice the coloring until it had been out in full sun for a couple of weeks.  Here's the whole plant, with a sunburned green spiny Munchii behind it.  ChuckG also had several other in the Manikensis group and other SW Mozambique cycads, so it's possible that it is a "lost label" kind from somewhere in that area.

991611191_P1060272cropped.thumb.JPG.33a646a25fcae4b37b13398f517bf17e.JPG

Here's the caudex and petioles, you can see they have small spines almost to the caudex.  The shortest leaves switch to a 3-spine tip like Laurentianus/Whitelockii instead of being nearly spineless.

537607042_P1060273cropped.thumb.JPG.5ea8cf4834ba5477af54a6af81c001f2.JPG

And the leaf detail, with noticeable keeling.  If these fronds were grown in full sun they'd be shorter and *might* have some overlap.

1789352705_P1060274cropped.thumb.JPG.83bfdd46c8c515f1029479522bc756b4.JPG

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Merlyn2220

It occurred to me that it may be an E. Sclavoi on the greener side of things.  From the late George Sparkman's Facebook page, here is a blue mostly spineless type with somewhat similar leaves:

1712885347_EncephalartosSclavoibluespineless.jpg.fa43b718405a0b349f4ceb5a455c1f53.jpg

Another possibility is Turneri, the "Boila form" looks pretty similar with mostly spineless cupped leaves and upswept tips.  Some photos make it look slightly bluish but not a true blue like a Trispinosus.  Any thoughts?

1138103075_Encephalartosturnerileafdetail2.jpg.4b72182a76985cf51e9bf520afe88dac.jpg

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Tracy

I think you may have to wait and let it flush a few more times or even wait for a cone.  I have 3 Encephalartos sclavoi that I got from George and each is different, some more spiny than others, 1 green flushing and 2 bronze flushing.  Yours appears to have narrower leaflets for their length (ratio of width to length) than any of my E sclavoi.  At this point the leaflet's on yours aren't overlapping like the typical E turneri that I have seen either, but that could be a combination of age and stretching if it had been growing in shade.  The E turneri have even more exaggerated cupping. 

On 6/27/2020 at 4:39 AM, Merlyn2220 said:

Here's the caudex and petioles, you can see they have small spines almost to the caudex. 

The one thing that I noticed was the way that the petioles bow a little as they come up from the caudex.  I have a plant that is now Encephalartos sp "Vumba", but came in as a particular seed of E munchii.  It has always shown that bowing on newer flushes which becomes less noticeable as the leaves have hung on for a year.  It has cupped leaflets but also has retained spines.  I got it from George back in 2008 or 2009, and he told me it was something in the E manikensis complex at the time.  I wish I could ask him about it now.  Probably not a match based on what I'm seeing but it was interesting to note that similarity. 

20190722-104A4310.jpg

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Merlyn2220
17 minutes ago, Tracy said:

I think you may have to wait and let it flush a few more times or even wait for a cone.  I have 3 Encephalartos sclavoi that I got from George and each is different, some more spiny than others, 1 green flushing and 2 bronze flushing.  Yours appears to have narrower leaflets for their length (ratio of width to length) than any of my E sclavoi.  At this point the leaflet's on yours aren't overlapping like the typical E turneri that I have seen either, but that could be a combination of age and stretching if it had been growing in shade.  The E turneri have even more exaggerated cupping. 

The one thing that I noticed was the way that the petioles bow a little as they come up from the caudex.  I have a plant that is now Encephalartos sp "Vumba", but came in as a particular seed of E munchii.  It has always shown that bowing on newer flushes which becomes less noticeable as the leaves have hung on for a year.  It has cupped leaflets but also has retained spines.  I got it from George back in 2008 or 2009, and he told me it was something in the E manikensis complex at the time.  I wish I could ask him about it now.  Probably not a match based on what I'm seeing but it was interesting to note that similarity.

I bought a couple of Sclavoi from @NATEtures Domain a couple of weeks ago, and the larger one is definitely similar in leaf appearance.  However, the ones from Nate do not reduce down to spines or have that "kink" in the bases.  I'm guessing the reducing to spines is a definitive feature, but like you said, neither of my plants may be mature enough to have all the features.  I have seen Sclavoi photos with relatively long leaves, but none with the kink at the base.  Here's my Sclavoi from Nate for reference, a few leaves were damaged in transport.  The leaves don't quite overlap but are definitely keeled on this one:

1906784193_SclavoiNATetures062920.thumb.jpg.ac658336328088358f160c6f131c0d7c.jpg

Chuck also did have a couple of Encephalartos sp. "Vumba" that did also show the kink at the bottom and leaves reducing to spines.  His Vumba were definitely similar in leaf shape, but were spinier than my unidentified #2.  I guess spininess is variable on a lot of species.  A google search on Vumba does show several photos with a similar kink on JungleMusic and other places.  You can't quite see the kink so well in this picture, but I took a photo of the caudex just because of the somewhat odd shape.  You can sort of see the right frond bow outwards and then turn back vertical:

1227855386_EncephalartosVumba.thumb.jpg.e8e1c47694df839a5318f965917efc6a.jpg

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Merlyn2220

The FB hive mind came up with what looks like a pretty positive ID, Encephalartos Chimanimaniensis and possibly the "Elizabethtown" sub-form.  This is a photo of Nate's plant which is slightly spinier than mine.  But the leaf shape is nearly identical.  Mine has the same spine locations too, they are just flatter along the leaf edge.  Chimanimaniensis is also known to be slightly blue-green instead of a deep emerald green.  It's about 100 miles South of Vumba, and some photos do include the kink near the bottom of the petiole.  So I'd say that's as close to a positive ID as I'm going to get out of the mess of Manikensis types!  :D

1147249417_EncephalartosChimanimaniensisfinishedflush.jpg.5ba8b94f53f01bea7a71d71b261b5855.jpg

Just look at the subspecies mess!  Yikes!

2131439165_EncephalartosManikensischartdiagramspecies.jpg.6b12acc3438262c43164e0e666693e08.jpg

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