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Unread postPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 3:23 pm 
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A few more photos of Cycads in Nature's Garden.
(Photos courtesy Renier, thanx! :wink: )

Image
E.Transvernosus

ImageImage
E.Natalensis

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E.Natalensis in cone.

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E.Natalensis seedling in nature..... Hope for the future.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 1:36 pm 
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Hi Jen
Thanx for sharing those pics....they are absolutely AWESOME !!! It is really humbling to see mature plants of such stature in the wild (even if only pictures) which does give hope for our grandchildren to be able to experience such wonders of nature. :mrgreen:
BTW...how are your Msinganus seedlings doing? It is so rewarding to grow from seed, don't you agree? I have been dabbling a bit with Clivias - encouraged by a friend / colleague who has about 600m2 of shaded greenhouse with only cycads & clivias. He has quite a few exotic species and has been cross-pollinating them for a number of years now. He showed me some pics yesterday - i did not know that there are so many variations.


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:54 pm 
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Hi Scorpy,

They are amazing, aren't they! It's a pitty that most people do not realize that they are part of a such great natural heritage.

I am very exited because this coming Monday will be the day. We are booked for a guided tour in Marakele to see the cycads. It's is actually quite difficult getting someone to take one to the plants because of the theft risk. I will take lots of pics and will post them here. :wink: Hope we can get real close!

Unfortunately the seeds are just seeds still but I think they will be germinating pretty soon. Most seem to be pollinated but we will only know once they actually grow. I have a few more of unknow variety I picked up in my brother's garden, we will see what happens, I just might be lucky. You are so right! It is very rewarding indeed!

I have tried my hand at clivias as well and my garden is full of seedlings. I even had a few flowers from them during this last season. There are many different varieties and they are all truly beautiful. Oh, I'm :mrgreen: of the 600m2 of shaded greenhouse! But I've successfully grown my clivias in the shade of the tree. Just one word of advice: Make a frame and cover it with shadenet to keep the plants under. We have many Hadidas and Thrushes in the garden and they head straight to the seedlings digging for worms. They more often than not mistake the roots for worms and fly off with the seedling! :lol:
That goes for both cycads and clivias! I lost many before I realized where they went!

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:54 am 
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Hi All,
As promised, here is photographic evidence of Eugene-maraisii in Marakele National Park. This photo was graciously supplied by my cousin (thanx, again, Renier!). Unfortunately, for me, the trek up the mountain was not to be.

Eugene-maraisii
Image
Judging from the scale in the photograph, I would rate the stem to be at least 5m high. That would mean that this particular plant can be anything form 500 to 800 years old. (Most probably older)

I solute you, SANParks, for giving them this safe and protected environment. :clap: :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:59 am 
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A few more, still in nature's garden.

Encephalartos lanatus
Image Image

Encephalartos middelburgensis
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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:21 am 
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Hi Jen
Thanks for posting those pics - especially of the Lanatus plants. I am not sure why, but they tend to be my favourites (out of a whole bunch of favourites). :wink:
It seems to me that the Eugene-maraisii is a solitary plant on the hillside - it must have been the result of a seed being dropped there by a passing bird (or dinosaur?!?!). 'Tis quite interesting how nature works, isn't it?


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Hi Scorpy,

Lanatus is a beautiful cycad, I have to agree. It's really special seeing them in the wild. :D

The Eugene-maraisii in the photo is a solitary plant, unfortunately, because I believe they were viciously plundered in years gone by. The few that still remain are in totally inaccessible areas and that is their saving grace and they are being well protected, which is great!

I'm glad that you do enjoy these photos, it's wonderful to know that there is after all someone out there who do appreciate the fact that cycads are a rear gem on the verge of extinction!

Thank you for visiting this thread! :clap:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:46 am 
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Hi JenB,

I wonder if you or any one can help me, :hmz: I am looking for the Kruger cycads, meaning all the caycads that grow wild in the Kruger.

I love cycads, me and my friend have about 215 cycads and need about 15 species then we have every specie. Just sad they broked in at his place and stolen a lot of your "big boys" some of them were 1,5meters. :evil: They stolen all your rare ones 31 in total in 1 night. :twisted:

If some one know were they are in the kruger it will mean alot to me if i can see them in Kruger. It will be a dream come true. :pray:

Thanks
Leopard-cub

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:09 am 
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Hi Leopard-cub,

Unfortunately the black market for cycads is such that they are just not safe anymore, haven't been for a long time. :( The only ones that are left are growing in such inaccessible places which makes poaching, not impossible, but difficult. For that reason their locations are a strictly guarded secret. Best is to scan the area at lookout points and along the road and you just might be lucky? My cousin has made it his life goal to photographically document each and every specie that is still found in nature and some of his photographs are heartbreaking to see, huge plants removed and left to die because they were to heavy to carry. He has seen plants in most of the National parks, recently Addo, but he will not part with the info, not for love or money.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:46 pm 
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After we have lined our pockets and decorated our lifestyles, this is what we leave behind...... :(

Mutilation left on Encephalartos middelburgensis stem in habitat due to illegal poaching of stems and off sets, this is a sad sight...
Image

Encephalartos middelburgensis, note the 2 stems, left after illegal poaching, this species is on the brink of becoming extinct in the wild. There is only one pair of plants left that can naturally pollinate. Reproductive failure and poaching are the main threats to the continued existence of this species in the wild.
Image

Continuous illegal removal of suckers caused major stem damage and subsequent fall over of this plant.
Image

Dead leavifolius stem after it was removed and left behind by poachers because it was to heavy to carry.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Hi Jen
Thanks for posting those pics & driving home a perfect example of how we (some of us) rape our environment for financial gain. :big_eyes: I have to admit that they sicken me, & i would love to see the culprits behind bars for many years. :sniper: I think our legislation is way too lenient towards this type of crime, but it is impossible to police the few remaining sites where cycads & other endangered flora grow "free".
Many years ago i had the privilege of hiking in an area above Waterval Boven where Lanatus plants grow on the side of a hill. The veld had just been burnt, and there was new growth on all the established plants, and quite a few new seedlings were popping up. I was sorely tempted to take a few seeds, but the farmer had requested we leave them untouched, which i reluctantly did. I am so glad now that i followed the more difficult course of action 'cos i think that if i had taken seed & grown them, i would have felt guilty every time i looked at the plants. :roll:
I was also glad to see that your cousin is very secretive about cycad locations. :thumbs_up: ....it is just a pity that everyone misses out on seeing them in order to protect them from the :twisted: few !!

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:30 pm 
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Yah Scorpy, these images do strike a nerve.
About 10 years ago we went on a hike to see a plant near Middelburg which was declared as a National monument. It was a majestic plant! Ren (my couz) went back there a few months ago and of the previous (about 6 stems) only one remain. They have now built a steel cage around it to try and protect the last bit. The hillsides were literally strewn with plants, enormous ones. According to the farmer, they were all removed by helicopter. On the way there, we sat down in a valley where the seedlings were so plentiful, it looked like ferns! You could barely walk without stepping on it - all gone. :( These plants are far more endangered than any animal but people just don't care.

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:29 pm 
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I, me and myself! :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:20 am 
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This most certainly strikes a nerve .It is just another example of man's complete disregard for nature ( GOD's creation ) .This just cannot be justified and has to be stopped . It is now about time the Authorities wake up and start doing something or soon we will be left with a barren wasteland .

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 Post subject: Re: Cycads in the wild
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:23 pm 
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I am involved in the development of upper market homes and have seen landscaping contractors replanting stems of more than 3m in length.
They are being sold to clients "including permits" (yes, I question!). I am particularly thinking about a Eugene-maraisii. The foliage was in front of a first floor window which makes the stem at least 3.5m high. I estimate that plant to be at least 350 years old.

Now I ask you: How on earth is it possible for a plant, that has been around since the days that Jan van Riebeeck set foot on dry land at Table bay, to be permitted??!! Most of these plants do not find their way to local gardens, they are for the export market and once out of the country, no questions asked.

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