Jungle Music Palms and Cycads Nursery

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Monday -Saturday 9AM-4PM
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Phone: (619) 291-4605
Fax: (619) 574-1595

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by Phil & Jesse Bergman

A Brief Introduction of the Species


This is a brief introduction of this understory medium sized cycad from northern South African and Mozambique that has leaflets shaped like a Holly Fern and sports orange to red male and female cones.  There are two forms of this species:  A flat leaflet and curled leaflet form.



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Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox


Locality:  Native to southern Mozambique and the northern parts of the Natal district of South Africa.  Localities are fairly close to the ocean and this species is found in shaded areas, often on sand dunes and beneath overhead brush trees.  In these localities no severe cold is seen and humidity is high. The name of this species refers to the Latin word "fierce" referring to the prominent pointed lobes on the leaflets.

Plant Size:  This cycad is a small to medium sized mature cycad with trunks that are often subterranean and exposed heights rarely above three feet.  This species will sucker and form a clump. 

Other Characteristics:  Leaf color is green with an occasional blue-green plant in some collections.  Leaf length is four to six feet.  I wouldn't consider it a "small cycad" - medium sized is more appropriate.  Overall height is six to seven feet with a similar crown diameter.  There is variation in the size and shape of the leaflets.  Most common are plants with flat leaflets, green on both sized, with prominent lobes (spines) on their margins.  Another form has curled leaflets that are also green.  These can curl to an almost tubular shape.

One of the most popular aspects of this species is the cone color.  This can be red, scarlet or orange.  The female cones in my experience show the best color.  It is quite attractive to see a dark red cone with dark green foliage.

Culture:  Along the coast this species tolerates some sun.  But, most growers put this species in minimal sun or filtered light.  Thus, it can be used as an understory cycad beneath canopy.  It likes good drainage in rich soil.  However, it does not want wet and boggy soil.  Cold tolerance is into the mid to lower 20's F.  During a freeze at our nursery there was not damage to this species at 25 degrees F.  It is also an attractive patio plant if given adequate room.

Landscape Usage:  This species is a great garden species to try.  Leaves ten to throw upwards but will relax to a more horizontal position.  Therefore, give it adequate room for viewing.  Right on the coast some have grown in in half day or more sun with success.  The leaflets do have armor, so keep it an adequate distance form walkways and passer-bys.  

Availability:  We typically can offer sizes from seedlings or small plants up to coning sized specimens.  Presently we are well supplied with larger plants.  And, we can offer both the flat leaf and curly leaf forms.  At any given time we should have at least a hundred of this species available.  The sizes from bands up to 15g can be easily mail ordered.  Larger plants can be delivered by truck.

Encephalartos ferox is a rare South African species but reasonably affordable.  Examples of prices for both forms are listed below. 

Encephalartos ferox curly leaf
Curly leaflet form

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Directions to Our Nursery

Article on Jungle Music and its Origins

Read Much More - Home Page

Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox
Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox Encephalartos ferox

Species Band$ 1G 2G 5G CitrusPot 15G 25G 25G Box $
Encephalartos ferox 'curly leaf'   $ 45+   $75+ $175   $ 175   $400+ $700+ inquire inquire
Encephalartos ferox 'flat leaf'   $ 45+   $75+ $165+   $ 165+ $400+ $700+ inquire inquire

Large Encephalartos ferox, coning size, are available.  On some we know the sex.
Remember, you need two to set seeds.  We have a good selection of many sizes and
have a large number of coning sized plants.

  Note:  All Cycads are Sold by Caudex Size, Not Container Size.
For example, a given pot size could have a smaller or very large plant in the same size pot.
This is why there are "+" signs next to prices.
But, prices above will give you an estimate of beginning prices of each size.






Nursery Location:

450 Ocean View Ave., Encinitas, CA  92024

Nursery Phone: 619 291 4605 Nursery Hours:

 Monday - Saturday  9AM to 4PM

Directions to Nursery: Freeway Close. Take Freeway 5 to Encinitas
(10 minutes south of Oceanside, 30 minutes north of San Diego). 
Exit Leucadia Blvd West (toward ocean).
Immediate left on Orpheus Ave, left on Union St,
Right on Ocean View Ave to Nursery, which is at 450 Ocean View Ave
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