Czech Cycads

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Cycads in Portugal

Portugal is one of the few places in the EU where you can see old cycads growing outside and not in a greenhouse. Portugal used to be one of the colonial powers so its travellers brought many plants from around the world. Even though we could not see any cycads from its former colonies (Mozambique, Brazil and Angola), there are excellent collections and the Madeira Monte Palace garden belongs to the best ones.

  1. Photo gallery of the Lisbon University Cycads

Cycad People in Portugal

Pedro Capela, a Portuguese living in Mozambique has invested in creating a nursery and publishing a book “Speculations on the Encephalartos species of Mozambique”


The Monte Palace Tropical Garden on the island of Madeira (Portugal) is said to have one of the largest cycad collections in the world. The Monte Palace cycad collection stirred quite some controversy at the time when 725 large cycads were shipped to Madeira in 1988. We wonder if they have a nursery and if any seedlings are being propagated from the cycads in this collection.

On the Madeira island you can also find a lot of houses with big Encephalartos transvenosus trees used for decoration purposes here.

  1. South Africa faces scandal over it export of rare plants - read the article

  2. Cycads in the Monte Palace Tropical Garden - some info


Jardim Botanico Tropical in Belém

The so called Ultramar botanic garden can be found on the outskirts of the city in the historic Belém. It was founded in 1906 and it now serves scientific investigations. It is known for a vast collections of cycads.

Lisbon University Botanic Garden

This is one of the two main botanic gardens in the city. It is located in the beautiful Bairro Alto and is certainly worth visiting.

The garden is probably the most under-financed botanic garden we have seen in Europe, with a ruin of a “greenhouse” and a Latin American style entry booth welcoming the guests. However the plants are old and beautiful. And who would need a greenhouse in such a hot country anyway?

  1. Photo gallery of the Lisbon University Cycads

Jardim da Estrela

This garden in Lisbon shows a big clump of Ceratozamia sp.

Oporto Botanic Garden

The botanical gardens in the city of Oporto is renowned for its big Lepidozamia peroffskyana trees as well as some other cycads.

Another collection in this city can be found in Palacio de Cristal.

Photos: Marco Conde (Ultramar)


Cycads in Europe & other countries

We are gradually mapping the European collection of cycads. Until now, we have done the following. Read more in our articles

  1. Czech Republic (CZ) - some of the text can be also found on our English homepage - with some of the oldest Encephalartos altensteinii and the tallest Cycas circinalis and Microcycas calocoma in Europe as well as a nice collection of fossil cycads

  2. Belgium (CZ) - This article adds information to the text published by Whitelock on Encephalartos laurentianus, the species described from the plants from the Belgian Congo, still in collection in Meise

  3. Cuba (EN) overview of the 8 Cuban species according to Flora de Cuba, with rare habitat photos - isolated country with not much information published abroad. The only article on the web.

  4. Denmark (EN) with the oldest Zamia lindenii in Europe

  5. Ireland (EN) - the birthplace of Ceratozamia fuscoviridis in Dublin

  6. the Netherlands (EN) with a beautiful collection in Leiden

  7. Poland (EN) with some historical plants from the original Warszewicz garden in Krakow, a fantastic group of Stangeria and 200 yrs old plants of Ceratozamia mexicana

  8. Portugal (EN) - see also our photo gallery from Lisbon

  9. Russia (EN) - CVs of Küster, Katzer and Perovsky after whom cycads were named

  10. Slovakia (EN) - with one of the EU well known cycad seed sellers

  11. Sweden (EN) with probably the largest Zamia pseudoparasitica on public display in Europe

We are usually using the names of the species as described by the gardens, even though sometimes a re-evaluation of the description might be needed.


  1. 1.Monte Palace Tropical Garden on the island of Madeira

  2. 2.Monte Palace Tropical Garden on the island of Madeira

  3. 3.Encephalartos friderici guilielmi in the Monte Palace Tropical Garden