Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 03 Mar 2011 07:11:20 PST

This is my last post on our Eastern Cape Trip and the last page of 
Naude's Nek photos. When I used to think of bulbs from South Africa, 
I used to think of the bulb capital of the world at Nieuwoudtville 
and all the winter rainfall bulbs. But as my posts have shown there 
are many summer rainfall bulbs and some of them grow at high 
elevations. Ellen Hornig has found many of them quite hardy although 
she does have a  cover of snow in winter.

On the last Naude's Nek page are two Ornithogalums, a white one we 
couldn't identify and O.  viridiflorum (Galtonia viridiflora). We saw 
some of the Oxalis we saw before.  I've not been able to identify all 
of them. There aren't many Oxalis with umbelliform orange flowers and 
the one we saw in several places doesn't quite fit any of the 
descriptions. According to Christiaan, O. davyana  is a large robust 
plant, O. semiloba is also a much bigger plant, and  O. stenorrhyncha 
is supposed to be caulescent and glabrous and the plants we saw were 
not. If any of you have any ideas about the unidentified species 
please let me know.

We also saw Rhodohypoxis on Naude's Nek. There are six Rhodohypoxis 
species and four of them are Drakensberg Mountain endemics. I've 
added descriptions of them from the Pooley Mountain Flowers book to 
the Rhodohypoxis wiki page, but I find the distinctions that help you 
tell them apart a bit of a challenge. When we made our nightly plant 
list after Naude's Nek we were told the species we saw on Naude's Nek 
was Rhodohypoxis rubella, but they looked like what I knew as R. 
baurii. Our final list had both of them on it. Rhoda was kind enough 
to send me some of Cameron's photos of some of the other species 
which he saw on other trips and I have added them. I am hoping 
someone will help me figure out if what we saw was R. baurii or R. 
rubella. The flowers are supposed to be much smaller on the latter 
and photographs don't really help you figure out sizes.

On the summit growing in gravel we saw two Romuleas. Being a Romulea 
fan, I was quite excited about this. One of them is now apparently 
known as R. camerooniana although some of you may know it or see it 
in seed lists as R. campanuloides or R. thodei. One of our photos 
shows the two species growing together.

We saw three more orchids, Satyriums, a Trachyandra, Tulbaghia 
montana on the summit, and two Wurmbeas,  a very striking one with 
blotches, Wurmbea elatior, and a very tiny one growing in a very wet 
place, W. kraussii. The spots in the photos of it are water drops.

This turned out to be a much bigger project than I envisioned when I 
thought it would be nice in our cold northern hemisphere months to 
look at summer hemisphere flowers, but our pbs wiki didn't have a lot 
of these plants included and now it does.

Mary Sue 

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