Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:11:04 PST

Sorry to add an incorrectly named photo. Haemanthus albiflos was on 
our plant list, but it doesn't look like we got a photo of it. 
Perhaps it was one of those on high rocky cliffs. Pieter van der Walt 
suspects the photo is of a morph of Scadoxus puniceus with a very 
short reduced pseudostem which is not uncommon in the Eastern Cape so 
I relocated it to the species.

At the same place I showed photos from yesterday we saw growing on a 
rock a very tiny plant with a very tiny flower not so easy to 
photograph. It is one of those plants previously considered a 
different genus, Litanthus now rolled into Drimia, Drimia uniflora.
I do find the variety of flowers are considered now to belong to 
Drimia quite broad.

The photos I'm sharing today were taken in the afternoon of same day, 
but in a different place, The Waainek Wild Flower Reserve. Cameron 
writes about it on his web site:
<http://www.africanbulbs.com/page52.html >

They had  had unusually dry weather so we weren't sure what we'd see 
and the day was overcast and cool which also could have been a 
disadvantage. It was a grassy area, probably not as green as it is 
some years, but we did find a few very special flowers. It was like a 
treasure hunt where you found one of what you were looking for.

We found one Haemanthus carneus growing in a rocky spot:
Cameron has been there at different times so the wiki entry shows a 
progression from beginning to end. This is a rare plant so we were 
pleased to see it.

And we found a Cyrtanthus macowanii. This is the plant I mentioned 
yesterday was probably growing on the rocks with the Agapanthus and 
one that our experts compared with Cyrtanthus epiphyticus. There 
didn't seem to be consensus about how these two are different.

Of interest to me since it was so different was a plant that we saw a 
number of that we finally sorted out as Drimia macrantha. Cameron 
told us we were lucky to see it in bloom since the flowers open late 
in the day. He speculated that the weather was in our favor. I wasn't 
sure where to put it on the wiki. It has been considered an 
Ornithogalum, a Urginea, and most recently Thuranthos nocturnale 
which is the name Cameron knew. It is mentioned in Cape Plants as now 
belonging to Drimia, but there is no description of it and searching 
on the net all I could find was names (no photos, but apparently 
there are some herbarium specimens). I've added it to the Drimia 
group page, but if someone wants to suggest another possibility, let me know.

The last geophyte we photographed that afternoon was Albuca virens, 
formerly known as Ornithogalum tenuifolium

Mary Sue

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