Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:44 pm

Tall White Squill Drimia altissima (Reuseslangkop, Jeukbol)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Hyacinthaceae

Image © arks

Image © arks
Kruger National Park, Talamati area

Description
Perennial, bulbous plant, up to 2,5 m tall. A slender, erect flower with a large, thick-scaled bulb, the latter borne above or just below the ground. Mature plants send up their tall inflorescence just before the start of the rains around November followed by the leaves. Flowers greenish-white, about 10 mm diam., in a dense terminal raceme, up to 60 cm long, white with a green midline on the outside of the tepals. Flowers opening in the morning, usually closing by midday. The seasonal leaves are broad, bright green, sword-shaped and angling outwards, nearly erect. Leaves appear after the blooming season, which occurs in spring, sometimes extending into early summer. Seeds then ripen during the early part of the rainy season.

Distribution
Widespread species in tropical and southern Africa.

Habitat
Albany Thicket, Fynbos, Grassland, Savanna. Hot, dry bushveld and thicket.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:31 pm

Candelabra Flower Brunsvigia orientalis (Koningskandelaar)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Amaryllidaceae

Image © okie
Brunsvigia orientalis growing on the roadside in the Western Cape
The plant makes big flat leaves which spread over the ground. These leaves dry up and fall off in late summer, after which the flower appears.

Image © okie
Beautiful flower head

Image © okie
Close-up of individual flower

Image © okie
After a couple of weeks, the flower head dries up and becomes papery, it breaks off and rolls in the wind dispersing seeds.

Description
Bulbous perennial, 40-50 cm, with 5 or 6 prostrate leaves that are dry at flowering. It prefers sandy soil conditions and makes a huge underground bulb which can grow as big as a football. Flowers emerge between February and March. The flowerhead forms a huge sphere, up to 600 mm in diameter, with between 20 to 80 flowers. These are large, 6-tepalled, pink to red and are soon followed by the 3-sided seed capsules. The leaves appear from about May, after the flowerhead has dried and broken off. There are generally 6 large tongue-shaped leaves spread flat on the ground. The margins are often fringed. Leaves start to die down from about October and the bulb lies dormant during summer.

Distribution
South African endemic to the Western Cape, from southern Namaqualand to the Cape Peninsula and Plettenberg Bay.

Habitat
On sandy lowland coastal areas, sandy flats along the coast, riverbeds or inland sand plumes in predominantly low altitude winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:05 am

Pink Gladiolus Gladiolus brachyphyllus
Order Asparagales. Family Iridaceae. Subfamily Ixioideae

Image © arks
Kruger National Park, S36

Description
Perennial herb, glabrous. This summer growing species grows to 55-70 cm tall with 3 leaves. Leaves (not present with flowering spike), 3 (1-2 in immature plants) linear, up to 1 m long and 1.3 cm wide. Flowers pink to purple with dark-red to purple markings at bases of lower tepals. Flowering time October to mid-November.

Distribution
One of the few species of Gladiolus to occur in the southern African lowveld: South Africa (Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga), northern Swaziland and southern Mozambique. Its range extends from Klaserie in the north, through the central and southeastern regions of the Kruger National Park, to as far south as Tshaneni in Swaziland.

Habitat
Summer-rainfall regions, dry savanna woodland with well-drained sandy soils.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:03 pm

Falling Stars or Montbretia Crocosmia aurea aurea
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image © Tina
uMlalazi Nature Reserve

Description
Falling stars have corms with long stolons. The plant grows up to 1.2 m and is often found in large colonies, in forests or forest margins. Leaves are sword shaped, soft and are 20-30 mm wide. They have a distinct midvein that forms a stem at the base.
This plant flowers in summer (January to June). The flowers are + 40 mm in diameter, luminous orange to red and form a branched inflorescence. It bears a leathery orange capsule, which gives rise to shiny, purplish, black, round seeds.

Distribution
Crocosmia aurea is found in forest margins and forest floors from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to Uganada and the Central African Republic. Crocosmia aurea ssp. aurea is a southern African subspecies, found in Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Swaziland.

Habitat
Crocosmia aurea is found from the coast to up to the altitude of 2 000 m above sea level. It loves moist habitats e.g. stream banks, wooded kloofs, and forest margins.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:24 pm

Drakensberg Watsonia, Elegant Watsonia Watsonia lepida
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image © harrys
Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Description
Erect perennial to 65 cm, solitary, with sword-shaped leaves, and pink, funnel-shaped flowers with a flared tube, 28-35 mm long.

Distribution
South Africa and Lesotho, in and around the Maluti and central Drakensberg Mountains. (Free State, KwaZulu-Natal).

Habitat
Grassland.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:17 pm

Short Aristea Aristea africana (Blousuurkanol, Maagbos)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image © arks

Image © arks
Cape Point

Description
Small, usually branched perennial, mostly 10-15 cm, with flattened stems and narrow leaves, the spathes translucent with dark keels, finely fringed and sometimes rusty brown at the tips; bears blue flowers with 3 fringed stigma lobes. Fruits short and 3-winged.

Distribution
South African endemic, southwestern Cape.

Habitat
Sandy flats and mountain slopes.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asparagales

Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:07 pm

Blue Sceptre Aristea capitata (Blousuurkanol)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Iridaceae

Image © arks
Cape Town, seen along the M3

Description
Robust, often clump-forming perennial. The plants form thick clumps of long strap-shaped evergreen leaves, which stand upright to 1,5 metres. From October the flowering stems appear tall and strong above the leaves, often 8 or more stems grow from each clump.
The flowers are formed along the top part of the stem, tightly arranged on little branches forming small bunches of buds. There are a few hundred flowers along each stem, but they open only a few at a time and last for less than a day. The 6 bright blue petals of each flower open wide, creating a flat saucer of about 25mm across with the 3 yellow anthers and sword-shaped stigma in the center. By the afternoon the open flowers start to wilt and close with the petals twisting around each other. The flowers are pollinated by pollen - collecting bees that are active early in the day. The old flowering stems remain upright for months after flowering and are quite attractive, turning a rich brown colour. Underground Aristea capitata has a rhizome from which the plants often resprout after fire.

Distribution
South African endemic, southwestern Cape.

Habitat
Lower mountain slopes in moist places.