Encephalartos trispinosus originates from South Africa
the Eastern Cape province. It is a beautiful blue cycad, one of my favorites. It is a medium to small growing cycad reaching about 3 feet in height. Leaves are also about 3 feet in length, slightly recurving at the apex. Encephalartos trispinosus is often confused with Encephalartos horridus. E. horridus leaflets are very recurves almost folding on itself. The cones of E. trispinosus are also distinctive. The female cone is very warty with a bluish green green color, and male cones are greenish color, very elongated. E. horridus male cones are a brown color and female cones also are less warty green color with a brownish- purplish accent color. There are many leaf variations, from green to blue, and many leaflet forms. A must for every cycad collector!
Encephalartos trispinosus is best grown in part to full sun. the beautiful blue color tends to be more intense when grown in direct sun. As leaves get older they lose their blue color turning to green. Soil should be well drained with lots of inorganics to help in drainage. When growing in containers soil should be 50% organics to 50% inorganics. See our "Growing Cycads" page on this site for more info on soils. As with all cycads, fertilize regularly with a complete formula making sure that all minor nutrients are included.
Encephalartos trispinosus is dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female. As a result you must have both male and female plants to produce seeds. After pollination the seeds may take up to a year to mature and become ready for planting. Seeds can then take several weeks to germinate. Make sure seedlings are planted in deep pots, since seedlings have long tap-roots. Transplant to larger pots as they grow. With a little patience you will have a beautiful specimen.