Roggeveld wiki page

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 01 Jan 2007 17:58:15 PST
Seeing a number of the Romuleas in bloom today reminded me of our wonderful 
IBSA trip to Middelpos after the IBSA Symposium in September 2006 as this 
area is a wonderful area to see Romuleas. The area near Sutherland is one 
of the colder winter rainfall parts of South Africa and I think some of you 
wondering about pushing the hardiness limits of South Africa species should 
be thinking of plants from this area. I often wished there was a field 
guide for this area. I created a wiki page so I could add pictures of some 
of the plants we saw and have slowly been adding pictures my husband and I 
took and some from a CD Cameron sent me of plants photographed in other 
years. We saw some masses of Romulea flowers on this trip; Romulea 
diversiformis was one of them and R. kombergensis was another. Other 
standouts were R. tetragona, R. unifolia, R. monadelpha, and R. 
subfistulosa. I'm afraid the photographs don't do them justice. I've added 
some pictures of a few of the ones that were not the usual color just to 
show you the variations you can find in the wild. One of the highlights of 
our visit was seeing Daubenya aurea (red version). Once again I'm not sure 
our pictures show how gorgeous it was. Although I still have a few more 
pictures to add, those of you who have not discovered this wiki page may be 
interested in seeing some of the wonderful bulbs that grow in the 
Roggeveld. I've struggled over the Moraea (Homeria subgroup) species. I 
think we saw Moraea miniata and Moraea bifida. The first has 2 or 3 leaves 
and the second one.  I've looked and looked over the other species that 
could have been there getting more and more confused over whether claws are 
clasping, short, ascending, diverging, etc. If anyone can explain this to 
me I'd be really grateful. I just identified some as Moraea sp. and would 
be happy to change any that seem wrong. There was one pale yellow one that 
had multiple petals, no doubt an aberration, but pretty just the same. 
There were roadside areas near Middelpos where there were thousands and 
thousands of these Moraea (Homeria sub) plants, both yellow and 
apricot-orange ones.  You could understand why people worry about them 
becoming weedy and if they are also toxic to stock, that's probably a good 
reason why the South African members of our group didn't seem very 
interested in them. I'm not sure what happened to Moraea odorata in the 
Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs. It isn't included and my Nieuwoudtville 
field guide says it is similar to M. bifida but the flowers are pale yellow 
and the anthers are enclosed in the cup. The picture doesn't help much, but 
it is also listed as endemic so perhaps it doesn't extend to Middelpos. But 
it does grow in the kind of soils we saw near Middelpos.…

There are a number of members of our list who were taking pictures on this 
Middelpos trip and I'd love to have you supplement what I've added.

Mary Sue

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