Wurmbea mystery

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 11 Aug 2016 07:51:38 PDT
I had an email conversation with John Manning when I was trying to 
figure out some unidentified wurmbeas we had seen on a trip to South 
Africa and I ended up getting very confused about Wurmbea spicata, 
especially when he said  that the photo in the Color Encyclopedia was 
probably wrong and

> True W. spicata is supposed not to have those blotches at all.
So many photos I had seen identified as this species have blotches. 
Onixotis has been included in Wurmbea, but the key in the Color 
Encyclopedia for Wurmbea does not include it. Botanists can probably 
help me out here, but the description of the nectary for the original 
Wurmbea was a pouch like nectary at the base of the free part of the 
tepal and for Onixotis "a more or less narrowly pouch-like nectary above 
each of two conspicuous lobes curved upward above the claw".

If I understand this description and look at the photos on the Wiki, the 
nectary is often further down the tepal than in the photos of the 
mystery plant. Could this plant be Wurmbea punctata (formerly 
Onixotis?). The location fits the description for where it is 
distributed. If we could see the whole plant it would really help. This 
species has white to maroon flowers that are sessile on a short spike 
with three lanceolate leaves and the uppermost set about halfway up the 
stem. Here's an Ispot link that was identified as likely to be that 
species with one agreement:


Mary Sue

> Bruce Bayer says 'Here is a picture of a Wurmbea that grows here at 
> Fisherhaven, South Africa (a bit of a threatened bulb paradise). The 
> id I get is W. stricta but I am rather doubtful while another id has 
> been W spicata!' Can anyone identify this plant?
> Link:
> http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/… 

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