Encephalartos villosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Cycadopsida Cycadales Zamiaceae

Scientific Name: Encephalartos villosus Lem.
Common Name(s):
English Poor Man's Cycad
Encephalartos striatus Stapf & Burtt Davy

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-31
Assessor(s): Donaldson, J.S.
Reviewer(s): Agenbag, L. & Bösenberg, J.D.
A widespread species and one of the most common cycads in South Africa. There are numerous large subpopulations including several in protected areas. The species is therefore listed as Least Concern as the threats and declines are not severe enough to warrant any concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs from near East London in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, continuing through KwaZulu-Natal province and then on into parts of Swaziland. Occurs from 100 to 600 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Eastern Cape Province, KwaZulu-Natal); Swaziland
Additional data:
Number of Locations:13
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:E. villosus is a common and widespread species. There are several substantial subpopulations throughout its range with a total population probably in excess of 100,000 plants.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:100000
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species typically occurs as an understorey plant in sub-tropical coastal forest and in scrub, but populations also occur in more temperate areas.
Generation Length (years):35

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is some evidence of collecting for ornamental purposes but this is fast growing species that is easy to cultivate. There is also some degree of habitat loss as a result of land clearing for agricultural purposes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of the CITES Appendices. Plants occur and are protected in the following reserves and natural heritage sites: Umtiza Nature Reserve, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, Kranskloof Nature Reserve, Ngoye Forest Reserve, Hope Valley Natural Heritage Site and the Shongweni Dam Natural Heritage Site.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Goode, D. 1989. Cycads of Africa. Struik Winchester, Cape Town.

Goode, D. 2001. Cycads of Africa. D & E Cycads of Africa, Gallo Manor, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Grobbelaar, N. 2002. CYCADS - with special reference to the southern African species. Privately published by Nat Grobbelaar, Pretoria, South Africa.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Osborne, R. 1987. Focus on Encephalartos villosus. Encephalartos 10: 16-23.

Citation: Donaldson, J.S. 2010. Encephalartos villosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T41947A10608666. . Downloaded on 19 August 2018.
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