Mystery Massonia

Sat, 19 Apr 2008 13:18:51 PDT
Then would this be the same entity that grows at high elevation in Lesotho?
I'm glad you pointed out the flowering season difference, Cameron. How about
morphological differences?
Personally I think Massonia needs more work, in sprite of recent attempts to
bring order to this fascinating genus. This is especially true regarding
plants that end up getting labeled M. echinata. I believe the
Mueller-Doblies have made progress in sorting out some of the species,
notably M. hirsuta of the Eastern Cape area and M. echinata. According to
their analysis, M. echinata is restricted to the Nieuwoudtville area and I
have several batches from Silverhill from there that seem to match very well
their interpretation of it. M. hirsuta is distinctive in having a longer
season in leaf, plain green smooth or hirsute leaves and white flowers with
a strong scent like laundry freshener perfume (aside from technical

This photo…

depicts a plant that I have grown as "M. cf. echinata" from Rust-en-Vrede
Nursery but as can be readily seen from the photo it is very different from
the other PBS photos of M. echinata. Does it have a proper name? I don't
have mature bulbs currently to key it out in M-D but would like to hear any
opinions about it.

Dylan Hannon

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM, Rhoda and Cameron McMaster <> wrote:

> In commenting on the Mystery Massonia offered by Rogan Roth for comment
> I would suggest that it is a species that has yet to be described.  I have
> observed it for some years in gravel beds on rock slabs in the high
> Drakensberg and this year was lucky to see it in full flower in January on
> the ridge above Tiffindell Ski Resort at an altitude of 3000m.  The fact
> that it flowers in mid-summer (the only Massonia to do so)  places it apart
> from Massonia jasminiflora which flowers in mid winter in all its known
> habitats and populations,  all of which are at  lower altitudes in the
> Eastern Cape.  In Elsa Pooleys field guide " Mountain Flowers" this plant is
> listed as Massonia echinata on page 56, but echinata occurs in much more
> arid areas primarily in the winter rainfall zone, so I dont think this
> identity is correct either. I will be interested to hear further opinions.
> Cameron McMaster
> African Bulbs
> PO Box 26, Napier 7270
> Tel/Fax: 028 423 3651
> Mobile: 082 774 2075
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