Belfast Botanic Gardens Cycad Collection
This is one of a series of short articles about cycads in the Belfast Botanic Gardens, compiled by members of the Friends Group.
Bread tree or bread palm
This is the largest cycad in the tropical end of the Ravine. The plant is a male and has recently produced two pollen cones (see photos). It is one of the plants that had to remain in the Tropical Ravine during the recent renovation works and was protected by a plastic shelter with special heating.
The genus is native to Africa and is endangered due to over enthusiastic plant collectors and also its use in tribal medicine.
Thick stem of Encephalartos sp. in the Tropical Ravine
Encephalartos sp. pollen cones
Its beautiful radial symmetry seen from above