Opening/ Closure Status

All outdoor gardens are currently open. The Conservatory and public restrooms remain closed, due to the closure of the U.S. Capitol campus buildings. Please monitor for updates on operating status. USBG resources can be accessed online, including educational materials, virtual tours, and online programs by visiting

Karoo cycad

Plant Botanical Name: 
Encephalartos lehmannii
Plant Threat Level: 

The Karoo cycad is endemic to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Cycads are the oldest seed producing plants and according to fossil records predate dinosaurs. The few emaining wild populations of Encephalartos lehmannii are threatened by habitat destruction and unsustainable collection of plants for both horticultural and traditional medicinal uses. Conservation of plant material in botanical gardens and seed banks, controlling trade in cycads and protection of wild populations and habitat are being undertaken worldwide.

Photo: Rhoda McMaster