Mpumalanga Tourist AttractionsThe Lanatus Cycad
The beautiful Lanatus Cycad can be found in the Cultural Heartland of the Mpumalanga Province. Indigenous and unique to the area, there is an abundance of these cycads in the region causing the entire surroundings to become a plethora of wild flowers.
Where? Throughout the Cultural Heartland, Mpumalanga
When? Best during daylight hours
The Lanatus Cycads transform the Mpumalanga Province into a spectacular and rather magical garden during the summer season. It is this phenomenal site that attracts thousands of visitors here yearly. The Lanatus Cycad is a protected species and for good reason! If you have no idea what you are looking for when trying to discover a Lanatus Cycad, there are a few things to look for.
The Lanatus Cycad is a medium-sized plant boasting stems up to 1.5m tall, yet, even in old specimens the reclining stems can grow up to 2m in length. The stem boasts a diameter from 25cm to 30cm and is covered in an abundance of small leaf base scars. The cycad also produces suckers from the base. The leaves are rather densely hairy and have a silvery like appearance. The pinnae boast a silvery bloom when young and then mature to a green to blue-green colour. Interestingly, each pinna changes into a single, sharp spine.
The Lanatus Cycad is found in very limited numbers of sheltered, rocky valleys such as catchment areas of the Wilge, Olifants as well as Little Olifants Rivers. The largest stands of the Lanatus Cycads are found in the Botshabelo Mission Reserve as well as nearby farms. These fascinating cycads grow in deep, sandy, fertile soils and rocks.
The Lanatus cycads grow easily from seed but growth is extremely slow. Hence, the reason why they are so popular and protected. Lanatus Cycads are beautiful to see in the summer season and transform the entire region into a spectacular sight. It is a picture perfect postcard image and a must to see and experience.