Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:47 am

Blue Babiana, Purple Baboon Root Babiana ambigua (Bobbejaantjie)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image
Bontebok National Park

Description
Babiana ambigua is winter growing, flowers in August and September. Plants 5-8 cm high. It is a cormous perennial with hairy leaves and flower stems. The corms have densely netted tunics and part of the stem is underground. The corms are eaten by baboons. Leaves linear-lanceolate, pleated and hairy. Flowers blue to mauve with white to cream markingsvon two of the petals. Fragrant. Bracts, usually entirely green, inner bracts divided to the base.

Distribution
It is endemic to South Africa in Northern Cape, Western Cape, mainly the south-western Cape. Gifberg southwards to the Cape Peninsula, and eastwards along the coast to Riversdale.

Habitat
Fynbos. Variable habitat, including deep coastal sands in strandveld, rocky sandstone mountain slopes (alt. 20 m - 460 m) and flats in fynbos and renosterveld on granite.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:48 am

Large Wild Iris, Fairy Iris Dietes grandiflora (Grootwilde-iris)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image
Hluhluwe GR, Hilltop, KwaZulu-Natal

Description
It is a perennial, evergreen plant which grows up to 1.5m in large clumps. Dietes grandiflora plants grow from underground rhizomes. The long, rigid, sword-shaped green leaves are held in a fan shape. The leaves are dark green and may reach up to 1m long and 15-20mm wide.
The flowers are borne in mass at certain periods - often after rain in summer. The attractive flowers are large (about 100mm across) and are white with yellow nectar guides and outer tepals and violet central segments. The flowers are held on erect, slender stems which are about 1m in length.
The fruit is a large capsule up to 45 mm which is held erect and splits open to release shiny, dark brown seeds.

Distribution
South African endemic. It grows naturally along the eastern coastal areas of the southern Cape, Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal.

Habitat
It may be found in full sun or partial shade at forest margins, or in the shelter of taller shrubs on exposed slopes facing the sea.

Links: PlantZAfrica; Braam Van Wyk: A Photographic Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa

Image © Tataruka

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:49 am

Gladiolus Gladiolus saccatus (Suursteen, Suikerkannetjie)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image
Namaqua National Park

Description
A perennial flower. It grows 20-100 cm high (Mean plant height is about 55 cm). It has bright red flowers and is pollinated by birds.
Stiffly branched, with a fan of greyish, narrowly sword- shaped leaves, 3-15 mm wide, and strongly asymmetrical, bright red, tubular flowers with nectar guides.

Distribution
It occurs from the western Cape of South Africa into Namibia.

Habitat
It is found in both summer and winter rainfall areas. Coastal planes.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:51 am

Tulp Moraea bifida (Pienktulp)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image

Image
Cederberg

Description
Perennial to 50 cm high. Leaf solitary, strap-shaped and channelled. Salmon coloured flower in spring.

Distribution
South African endemic. It is found in the Northern Cape and Western Cape with a range from Eastern Namaqualand and Western Karoo to Pakhuis Pass.

Habitat
Fynbos, Succulent Karoo on clay soils in renosterveld.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:52 am

Bugle Lily Watsonia confusa
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image © Lisbeth

Image © Lisbeth
Umtanvuna Nature Reserve, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Description
Perennial herb. It is large, up to 1.5 m, with pale blue-green leaves and spikes of 15-30 flowers on an unbranched stem.

Distribution
South African endemic, from the Eastern Cape Province to KwaZulu-Natal. Watsonia confusa occurs along the coast and near interior of eastern southern Africa from Engcobo and Umtata in Transkei to Durban in Natal.

Habitat
It grows in damp sites or grassland. It extends locally inland but seldom at altitudes above 1 000 m.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:54 am

Leopard Orchid Ansellia africana, Ansellia gigantea
Order: Asparagales. Family: Orchidaceae. Subfamily: Epidendroideae.Tribe: Cymbidieae

Image

Image
Kruger National Park, Biyamiti Weir

Image
Tembe Elephant Park, KwaZulu-Natal

Description
This orchid is an epiphyte, which means that the whole plant, roots and all, grow above ground, attached to the branches of trees. The roots, which anchor the plant to the tree, are specially adapted to absorb water and nutrients very quickly. An unusual feature are the needle-like roots pointing upwards which form in a dense mass around the pseudobulbs and catch the rotting leaves and detritus upon which the plant feeds.
The plant flowers during the dry winter months in a mass of yellow or greenish yellow blooms, which can be lightly or heavily marked with brown spots. In the wild, plants live for a long time and can become very large, some estimated to weigh over a tonne.
There are several flower colour variations of this plant, some with many or few, large or small, maroon or brown markings and yet others yellow and unspotted. The spotted forms have earned the plant the name of leopard orchid.

Distribution
It is found in tropical Africa and into N Namibia, N Botswana, Swaziland, and in South Africa in the Northern Province, the Lowveld and Kwa-Zulu Natal, mainly in the hot, dry river valleys.

Habitat
Found alongside coasts and rivers in the canopy of trees, usually at elevations lower than 700 m (occasionally up to 2,200 m).

Links: PlantZAfrica; Wikipedia

Image © leachy

Image © leachy
Kruger National Park

Image © leachy
Kruger National Park

Image © leachy

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:55 am

Chabaud's Aloe Aloe chabaudii
Superfamily: Xanthorrhoeacea. Family: Asphodelaceae

A bit of scale on the lower leaves.

Image © Dzombo

Description
Plants are stemless even in mature specimens, many suckers are produced. Aloe chabaudii has neat rosettes and it will form clumps as it matures. Leaves are white spotted on both surfaces in young plants while mature plants are without spots, although faint lines may be present. Leaves are dull green in colour and the margins are armed with short, evenly-spaced, firm white teeth.
Inflorescences are complex with many head-shaped racemes. Flowers are red or pinkish in colour. Flowers during June and July.

Distribution
Aloe chabuadii can be found in the Northern Province, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces of South Africa. It extends into Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:57 am

Grass Aloe Aloe ecklonis, Aloe kraussii, Aloe boylei Grasaalwyn
Order: Asparagales. Superfamily: Xanthorrhoeacea. Family: Asphodelaceae

Image © Amoli

Image © Amoli

Image © Amoli

Image © Amoli
Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Gauteng

Description
A stemless, evergreen succulent, occuring singly or in small groups. Stem short, bearing rosette of erectly spreading dull green leaves up to 60 cm long x 8 cm wide, tapering rather abruptly to tip, with many small spots at base below and few above, narrowly white-edged with very numerous soft short white teeth, 3-4 mm apart. Flowering axis with numerous overlapping clasping bracts with long fine points. Flowers in dense somewhat flat cluster, stalks up to 5 cm long; perianth 4 cm long, gradually narrowing to tip, orange, vermilion, flame or salmon-pink, green tipped. Flowers November - January.

Distribution
Not endemic to South Africa. Very common and widespread in South Africa: Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga

Habitat
Grassland.

Links: Swaziland's Flora Database

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:56 pm

Pearson's Aloe Aloe pearsonii
Order: Asparagales. Superfamily: Xanthorrhoeacea. Family: Asphodelaceae

Image
Helskloof, Richtersveld National Park

Description
Plants grow as large, much-branched shrubs of up to 2 m in diameter. Branching takes place from the base of the stems or higher up. The stems are erect and carry leaves for most of their length. Leaves are triangular and dull bluish-green and grow with four leaves per layer. The leaves often turn red, especially in times of drought. The inflorescence is often branched low down into two or three head-shaped racemes. Flower colour is varied from red, yellow and red-yellow. Aloe pearsonii is summer flowering (Dec.-Jan.). As with other aloes, the seeds are typically winged, small, up to 4 mm and produced in abundance inside the fruit capsules that split into three when ripe. Seeds ripen soon as a result of the extreme heat, normally around February to March.

Distribution
A rather rare shrub, the Pearson's Aloe is endemic to Helskloof in the Richtersveld National Park and adjacent mountains across the Orange River in Namibia.

Habitat
Aloe pearsonii seems to prefer slopes, hills and plateaus of the arid landscapes in the Richtersveld and surrounds. It grows in high, rocky places which are extremely arid. The summer temperature often exceeds 38 C. Aloe pearsonii occurs in a winter rainfall area (100 mm).

Image © Kesheshe
Richtersveld National Park

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:57 pm

Van Balen's Aloe Aloe vanbalenii
Order: Asparagales. Family: Xanthorrhoeaceae

Image

Image
KwaZulu-Natal, iMfolozi Game Reserve, Mphafa Hide

Description
This little species grows to about 1 m and sends out its whorl of leaves from ground level. Grows In dense groups. Usually stemless or with a short stem. The stems divide at ground level into multiplying clusters of rosettes. The leaves are up to 80 cm long and 12 cm to 15 cm broad, lanceolate, long-attenuate. The slender, channelled, recurving and sideways twisted leaves are red in exposed areas, greener in shade; fine teeth on the leaf margins only. Inflorescence 1 m high. Two or three cone-shaped racemes per inflorescence; usually yellow, orange or red flowers are found; winter to spring.

Distribution
From Zululand to south eastern Transvaal, Lebombo mountain range.

Habitat
Grassland, Savanna. The plants grow on rocky outcrops, mostly in bushveld and in semi-shady positions.