Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:41 am

Common Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

Image

Description
The dandelion grows from unbranched taproots and produces one to more than ten stems that are typically 5 to 40 cm tall but sometimes up to 70 cm tall. The stems can be tinted purplish, they are upright or lax, and produce flower heads that are held as tall or taller than the foliage. The leaves are oblong or obovate in shape with the bases gradually narrowing to the petiole. The florets number 40 to over 100 per head, having corollas that are yellow or orange-yellow in color. The silky pappi, which form the parachutes, are white to silver-white in color and around 6 mm wide. Plants have milky sap and the leaves are all basal, each flowering stem lacks bracts and has one single flower head. It blooms from March until October.

Distribution
Common dandelion is native to Eurasia, and now is naturalized throughout North America, southern Africa, South America, New Zealand, Australia, and India.

Habitat
It can be found growing in temperate regions of the world, in lawns, on roadsides, on disturbed banks and shores of water ways, and other areas with moist soils.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:43 am

Glossy-eyed Parachute Daisy Ursinia cakilefolia (Glansoogbergmagriet)
Order Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

Image

Image

Image

Description
This ursinia is easily recognised by the glossy black centre of its daisy flowers, which gives it its beautiful Afrikaans name, glansoogbergmagriet. The plants are single-stemmed but bushy, branching at the base and reaching a height of about 45 cm. The leaves are bright green and finely divided, almost like carrot leaves. They feel smooth, soft and slightly succulent, and when crushed smell sweet and fresh. The green stems often turn an attractive dark beetroot red colour. At the tip of each stem is a single daisy. While in bud the long slender stems droop downwards and only straighten as the flowers open. An open flower measures about 5 cm across. The petals of the flowers are bright orange or yellow. The glossy black centre so typical of Ursinia cakilefolia is formed by shiny scales that cover the inner florets. The number of flowers per plant varies from 15 to 20, and depending on how warm it is, each open flower lasts for a number of days before turning into white balls as the seeds form. In the evening the petals fold together closing the flowers for the night. Picked flowers will open indoors and last cheerfully for a number of days in a vase. Bees are the main pollinators, visiting the flowers for their small amounts of nectar. The seeds look like miniature white paper flowers, and are light in weight, ready to float away on the breeze as they dry, and give the plant its English common name, parachute daisy.

Distribution
South African endemic in the Northern Cape and Western Cape. Ursinia cakilefolia is found on the sandy flats and slopes in Namaqualand and the western Karoo and down the west coast as far as Redelinghuys in the Western Cape. The annual ursinias germinate with the autumn rains, grow during the cool wet winter, flower in spring and set seed before the long dry summer.

Habitat
Succulent Karoo. Fynbos/Strandveld in winter rainfall areas.

Image

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:44 am

Kaffir Daisy, Redstar Zinnia, Wild Zinnia Zinnia peruviana (Engelsmannetjies, Fluitjiesbossie)
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae. Tribe: Heliantheae

Image © leachy
Kruger National Park

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park, Pretoriuskop area

Image © Super Mongoose
Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve, North West Province

Description
Erect annual herb, up to 60 cm tall. Leaves opposite along the stems, subsessile, narrowly oblong-ovate, up to c. 4 cm long, 3-veined from the base, roughly hairy and glandular on both surfaces; margin entire. Capitula terminal, solitary, up to 4 cm in diameter; peduncle 2-7 cm long, gradually thickening towards the top. Disk florets yellow surrounded by a conspicuous whorl of spreading, broadly rounded orange-red ray-florets.

Habitat
A weed of roadsides. Occurs in dry land, village and roadside. Prefers well drained soil and full sun.

Distribution
Introduced. A naturalized weed in the eastern regions of South Africa. Native from Mexico to Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Known as a weed in Ethiopia, Gulf of Guinea Islands, Botswana, Zimbabwe and northern South Africa. Distributed to the entire part of KNP.

Links: Invasive Plants Kruger

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:41 pm

Berkheya sp Berkheya speciosa ovata (Skraaldisseldoring)
Order Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

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

Description
Large yellow daisy with spiky bracts. Subsp. ovata with basal leaves ovate or elliptic and sessile or with petioles 2–3 cm long.

Distribution
South African endemic from Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Habitat
Moist grass slopes and rank growth along streams.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:55 pm

Didelta Daisy Didelta carnosa carnosa (Perdeblom)
Order Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

Image

Image

Image

Image
Richtersveld National Park

Description
Didelta carnosa carnosa is a sprawling to rounded shrublet with fleshy branches. It has narrowly elliptic leaves that taper towards the base. These leaves are fleshy, smooth and hairless. The leaf margins are rolled under and have rounded tips. The flowerheads appear solitary with two rows of noticeable bracts. The outer five bracts are broad, opening widely in a saucer-like base for the flowerhead. The inner row is narrowly lanceolate and toothed, tapering to acute tips. There are also a few buds to be seen in various stages of opening with the outer bracts enveloping the corolla.
Flowering occurs from midwinter to early summer.

Distribution
Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape).

Habitat
Coastal dunes and flats in sandy soil.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Beach Pumpkin, Sea Pumpkin Arctotheca populifolia (Seepampoen)
Order Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

Image © Lisbeth
South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Description
Arctotheca populifolia is an annual or perennial, creeping, mat-forming herb, up to 200 mm high. Leaves are large, heart-shaped with short stalks. They are slightly succulent with a dense covering of white hairs. The margins are smooth to shallowly dentate. The yellow flower heads are about 30 mm in diameter, borne on short, stout, curving stems and often overtopped by the large leaves. The green involucral bracts form a cup in several rows. The ray florets are bright yellow and widely spaced and the central flowers are greenish yellow.

Distribution
Common along the southern African coastline, from Hondeklipbaai along the West Coast right up to the southern Mozambique coast.

Habitat
It grows in deep sand on coastal dunes and around estuaries. It forms thick matts on dunes that prevent wind erosion.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:12 pm

Wild Everlasting Helichrysum argyrosphaerum (Poprosie)
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae

Helichrysum is a large group of plants that includes annuals, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. Plants of the genus are widely distributed. Of the approximately 600 species found worldwide, 255 occur in southern Africa.

Image
All photos are from Kgalagadi TP

Image

H. argyrosphaerum
Origin of name: (argyros = silvery and sphere = a sphere)
with a silver sphere; referring to the white rings of involucral bracts.

Worldwide Distribution
Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Northern Province, Freestate, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape, South Africa.

Habitat
Grows in hot, dry, sandy places, and readily becomes a weed. Grassland, Savanna, Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo Biomes.

Image

Description
Diagnostic characters: Solitary heads. Pink papery bracts.
Herb, possibly annual, taproot woody, branches up to 300 mm long, many, radiating, prostrate or decumbent, sub-simple to profusely branched, thinly woolly, leafy throughout. Leaves up to 25 x 7 mm, scarcely smaller upwards, spathulate to oblanceolate, subacute, mucronate, narrowed to a flat petiole-like base, both surfaces thinly grey-woolly. Heads heterogamous, subglobose, c. 7–10 x 7–10 mm, solitary at the tips of the branchlets, surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in c. 9 series, graded, imbricate, inner about equaling flowers, pellucid, shining, silvery becoming increasingly pink-tinged inwards, fading again at maturity, tips mostly obtuse, radiating. Receptacle very shortly honeycombed. Flowers 166–290, 19–36 female, 142–258 homogamous, yellow, tipped pink. Achenes 0,75 mm long, elliptic, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases cohering lightly by patent cilia.

Image

Flowers between June and December.

Use by Animals
There are several records of its being regarded as excellent forage for both wild and domestic animals, but blindness and encephalopathy in sheep and cattle result from ingestion of large quantities (Onderstepoort J. Vet. Sci. 42,4: 135–148, 1975).

Birds such as Cape Sparrow and Sociable Weaver Birds, as well as Ground Squirrels, incorporate it into their nest building where it is thought to provide protection against microbes and ectoparasites.
"The interior of each Sociable weaver bird chamber is lined with soft material such as grass seedheads, everlasting (Helichrysum) leaves and feathers." (From: http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/bir ... socius.htm)

Image

Image

Helichrysum is known as containing antimicrobial flavonoids (chalcone), sesquiterpenoids and acetylated phloroglucinols (eg. caspitin) (van Wyk et al. 1997). Probably they are used…to control disease-bearing microorganisms and some ectoparasites (mites. lice, fleas).

Links: http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/he ... haerum.htm
Article on the use of aromatic plants by birds: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/africa_birds/ABB04(1)37-39.pdf

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Sat May 03, 2014 1:27 pm

Haarbossie Hirpicium alienatum (Haarbos, Meerjarige Gousblom)
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae. Tribe: Arctotideae

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Description
Small perennial latex-containing shrublet to 50 cm. Twiggy, with stiff, blackish branchlets. Radiate yellow flowerheads, ±20 mm in diameter, with bristle-tipped involucral bracts. Ray and disc florets are golden yellow, with unique four-lobed ray florets (a character that is unique to the subtribe Gorteriinae). Leaves alternate, xeromorphic, rather narrow and small, white-felted beneath.

Habitat
The distribution of Hirpicium alienatum inhabits two disjunct areas, one in the “year round rainfall zone” (Western Cape) and the other part in the “winter rainfall zone” (Namaqualand in Northern Cape)

Distribution
Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape).

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Sat May 03, 2014 3:19 pm

Cotton Bush, Kapok Bush, Wild Rosemary Eriocephalus ericoides (Kapokbos)
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae. Tribe Anthemideae

Image © Tina
Wooly heads of the disciform capitula in Eriocephalus ericoides ericoides in the Tankwa Karoo National Park

The genus Eriocephalus commonly known as ‘wild rosemary’, ‘Cape snow bush’, or ‘kapokbos’ is a member of the family Asteraceae (tribe Anthemideae). The genus is endemic to southern Africa, with the highest concentration of species in the Western and Northern Cape. The genus comprises 32 species and a total of 42 taxa, which are distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Lesotho.
Members of the genus Eriocephalus are woody, evergreen and often aromatic shrubs. The leaves are simple, quite small and covered with pitted glands. The flowerheads may or may not have outer ray florets, which if present are usually white or in some species pink. After flowering, long white hairs develop in the heads so that they have the appearance of fluffy white cotton balls.

Description
Grey-green, non-succulent shrub. Leaves very small and narrow (5 x 1 mm), hairy. Flowers inconspicuous and without petals.
Erect, many-stemmed, relatively sparsely branched, conical or broom-like shrubs, 0.3-1.0 m high, 300-400 in diameter, not or rarely spinescent. Old stems displaying anomalous secondary growth. The young leaves are woolly, old ones hairless. Leaves are small, clustered densely along the branches. Leaves mostly opposite, rarely alternate on flowering shoots with felty, glabrescent or permanent hairy indumentum. Eriocephalus ericoides ericoides has glabrescent, shiny, bright green leaves. Eriocephalus ericoides griquensishas permanently felty and dull green leaves.
Capitula heterogamous disciform spicate racemose or racemose or solitary, and pedunculate (1-5 mm). Marginal florets yellow. Eriocephalus ericoides lacks obvious outer ray florets (petal-like outer flowers) in flower heads, which are borne on short peduncles and usually arranged in racemes.
Flowering time correlated with rainfall, January to April, in summer rainfall areas and July to September in winter rainfall areas.
The seeds are enclosed in a conspicuous ball of white fluff. The balls are 5–10 mm in diameter and may contain several seeds.

Distribution
Eriocephalus ericoides is the most widely distributed species of Eriocephalus and is subdivided into two subspecies, E. ericoides ericoides and E. ericoides griquensis.
E. ericoides ericoides has the widest distribution of all Eriocephalus species. It extends from Namibia to Free State, Northern, Western and Eastern Cape, 300 m in altitude and occurs in summer and winter rainfall areas (200-500 mm). In Namibia, the species occurs in high areas (1000-1700 m altitude) in summer rainfall areas (250-300 mm). The Namibian species are fairly isolated from those in South Africa but there are no major morphological differences.
E. ericoides griquensis is restricted to the Northern Cape, from Orange River to near the Botswana border.

Habitat
Karoo and Renosterveld. Adapted to various habitats, often on stony clay and sandy flats.

Links: Elizabeth Wanjiku Njenga: THE CHEMOTAXONOMY, PHYLOGENY AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF THE GENUS ERIOCEPHALUS L. (ASTERACEAE)

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Asterales

Sun May 04, 2014 3:54 am

Globe Chamomile Oncosiphon piluliferum, Pentzia pilulifera (Stinkkruid, Knoppies-Stinkkruid)
Order: Asterales. Family: Asteraceae. Tribe: Anthemideae

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Description
Bushy annual herb with yellow spherical flowerhead; strongly aromatic. Much-branched, up to 50 cm tall. Leaves stalkless, deeply dissected with 2 stipule-like lobes at the base. Flower heads solitary on long, erect and leafless stalks. globose, with numerous tightly packed disc flowers.

Habitat
Dry inland areas or disturbed soil.

Distribution
Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape