Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 08:46:00 PST
I've added the last page for Gaika's Kop and it has some plants that 
I had questions about. On the summit were two more orchids, 
Schizochilus zeyheri which we had seen before, and Satyrium 
bracteatum, a little past it. Tritonia disticha was seen on the lower 
level as well as on the summit.

On the lower grassy area we saw Schizocarphus nervosus in various 
stages of bloom. This is one I have grown from seed, but so far I 
haven't flowered. The flowers are impressive enough that I guess I'll 
give it a few more years. We also saw a small white flowered 
Ornithogalum identified as Ornithogalum juncifolium. I thought I 
understood the distinction between the Ornithogalums that were 
staying and those moving to Albuca (Clade A (Albuca) has a 
well-defined green or brownish median longitudinal band on the outer 
surface of each tepal and a concentration of 3-5 veins along the 
midline.) This species has remained in Ornithogalum, but it looks 
like it has the green or brownish median band. Perhaps it doesn't 
have the veins. I can't really tell from my photos. We also saw a 
number of Oxalis on the lower slopes. I've had Christiaan look at 
them and he doesn't think they are any of the species in the field 
guides so they remain a mystery. Finally we saw a number of Watsonias 
including a pale pink one that we on the lower slope voted the plant 
of the day. It's unclear whether all these Watsonias were hybrids or 
some of them Watsonia pillansii. The Watsonia monograph gives a 
distribution range of Hogsback for W. knysnana which is very similar 
and describes a lot of intermediates when they are both found in the 
same area so it seems reasonable that it could be a parent as 
well.  I suggest that anyone who is hybridizing Watsonias try to 
create that pale pink one as it was really beautiful. I've added a 
couple of pictures under the species names, but they could all be 
hybrids and I'm not sure where to add them on the Watsonia wiki pages.

All in all we saw a lot of geophytes on this mountain in the few 
hours we spent there so were very happy that the accommodation did 
not work out and that Cameron was able to find us a much better substitute.


Mary Sue

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