Massonia question

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 07 Nov 2010 11:01:35 PST
The description of Massonia pustulata in the Color Encyclopedia is 
"leaves smooth or pustulate-hairy, sometimes spotted". You tell them 
apart according to the key by measuring the length of the anthers. 
Massonia pustulata is in the category of anthers 1 to 2 mm long, with 
filaments usually 16 to 24 mm. long. I once grew plants labeled 
Massonia pustulata from seed that had smooth leaves, but decided it 
was probably M. echinata after I measured it. So you may need to wait 
for flowers.

Your question illustrates a couple of points. One, as Arnold has just 
written, is that leaves change from year to year. I've found this 
especially to be true of Cyclamen leaves that in the beginning 
weren't nearly as interesting as they became in subsequent years.

Secondly and this is something that I didn't use to appreciate until 
I started looking at more plants in the wild, there is an amazing 
diversity found in species. We look at a picture in a book and think 
all of the plants are going to look like that picture and this isn't 
so. That's why we often add additional pictures to the wiki of plants 
already illustrated that show variations.

Mary Sue

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