The 9 rarest plants in the world
Venda cycad (Encephalartos hirsutus). Credit: Hannes Mostert. The hairy-looking Venda cycad is only known from Limpopo province in South Africa. It was first described as a new species in 1996. It is threatened by people who illegally collect them for ornamental purposes, and its population has been declining. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Venda cycad is now extinct in the wild.