Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Mon May 12, 2014 3:32 pm

Dwarf Chironia Chironia purpurascens
Order: Gentianales. Family: Gentianaceae

Image © mposthumus

Image © mposthumus
Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng

Description
Erect biennial or perennial herb up to c. 50 cm tall, with a slender rhizome. Stem slender, 4-ridged, mostly unbranched. Leaves at the base more or less in a rosette, linear-lanceolate, up to 7 × 1 cm, usually no longer present at flowering time; leaves along the stem opposite, oblong-elliptic, up to 6 × 1 cm. Flowers in a lax terminal cyme, bright pink, pink-mauve or rarely white, c. 2 cm in diameter. Fruit an oblong-ovoid capsule, up to 7 × 3.5 mm.
Chironia purpurascens purpurascens is 50–80 cm tall and the corolla is usually deep magenta-pink, it has the pedicels of the central flower in each cyme 6–25 mm long, or longer, whereas Chironia purpurascens humilis is smaller (up to 50 cm tall) and has the central flower of each cyme sessile or with a pedicel up to 6 mm long.

Distribution
Chironia purpurascens humilis is found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West).
Chironia purpurascens purpurascens occurs in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Swaziland.

Habitat
In damp grassy areas and vlei margins, forming colonies in suitable habitats.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Mon May 12, 2014 4:19 pm

Transvaal Chironia Chironia palustris transvaalensis (Bitterwortel)
Order: Gentianales. Family: Gentianaceae

Image © mposthumus

Image © mposthumus
Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng

Description
Erect perennial herb, up to c. 80 cm high, growing from a woody rhizome. The bloom has five ovate, tapering lobes, spreading from a narrow tube. Flowering time is mid- to late summer. Stem unbranched or branched above, 4-ridged. Leaves both near base and on stem, rather broad-based, tapering to long tip. Basal leaves in a rosette but usually not persisting, spathulate-ovate or oblong-lanceolate, bluish-green; stem leaves 2-8 cm long, linear-lanceolate, blue-green, inconspicuously 3-veined. Flowers in 5-18 flowered inflorescences, mauve-pink or rose-pink, c. 3.5 cm in diameter; pedicels 2-12 cm long; anthers 4-7 mm long, bright yellow, more or less twisted.
Capsule narrowly ovoid, 8-13 mm long.

Distribution
Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa (Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West)

Habitat
In marshy grasslands, on streambanks and along rivers.

Links: Jo Onderstall: Sappi Wild Flower Guide

Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:44 pm

Madagascar Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus (Begraafplaasblom)
Order Gentianales. Family: Apocynaceae

Image © Toko
Kruger National Park, S63 Luvuvhu River Loop

Description
Erect, evergreen perennial herb, up to 1 m tall. Leaves are glossy, borne on fairly rigid stems. Stems green, often suffused with purple or red. Blade is globorous on both surfaces and carried by a medium stalk. Leave margin is entire. The five petaled flowers are typically rose pink or white, ~40 mm in diameters. The Inflorescences are terminal and flowers are tubular, with a slender corolla tube. It has a woody stem near the base, broken stem exudes a milky latex sap. Fruits are in pods containing black round seeds.

Distribution
It is an invasive weed (NEMBA Catergory 1b), native to Madagascar. It occurs throughout the Kruger National Park, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng Provinces.

Habitat
It invades river banks, waste places in dry savanna, gardens and also plantations.

Image © arks
Kruger National Park, Nyala Drive

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:22 pm

Orange-throat Yellowwort Sebaea exacoides (Naeltjiesblom, Naeltjiesbossie)
Order: Gentianales. Family: Gentianaceae

Image © Tina
West Coast National Park, Western Cape

Description
A small, brightly coloured flower, often found in small clusters. Annual herb to 30 cm, with oval leaves, and 5-petalled, yellow or whitish flowers with orange streaks in the throat, sepals are strongly winged on the back and a corolla tube 6-19 mm long, almost as long as the lobes; stamens are hidden and arise within the tube below the level of the petals.

Distribution
South African endemic (Northern Cape, Western Cape).

Habitat
On sandy flats and slopes. Fynbos.

Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:10 pm

Balloon Plant, Milkweed, Wild Cotton Gomphocarpus fruticosus fruticosus (Vleiklapper)
Order: Gentianales. Family: Apocynaceae. Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae

Image © Pumbaa
Kruger National Park, Letaba

Description
Slender perebbial shrub, 1-3 m, branching mainly from the base. Stems woody near the base, densely pubescent. Leaves opposite, narrow linear to linear-lanceolate, 4-12 cm long, leathery, more or less densely pubescent and with soft white hairs on the midrib and margins, pointed and mucronate at the apex; margin often rolled under. Flowers in extra-axillary, 4-12-flowered nodding umbels. Corolla reflexed, white or cream; corona lobes attached c. 1.5 mm above the base of the staminal column, cream to green, more or less as tall as the column, laterally compressed. Follicle erect on a twisted pedicel, ovoid, inflated, up to 7 × 2.5 cm, distinctly beaked, more or less densely covered in soft bristles.
It is similar to Gomphocarpus physocarpus but can be distinguished by the fruits, which are more spindle-shaped, ending in a distinct tapering point. When the fruit dries and splits, it releases black seeds, which have long silky hairs attached to enable them to be spread by wind.

Taxonomy
The terminology for this plant is a little confusing. It is a native milkweed of South Africa and in 2001 its name was changed from Asclepias fruticosa to Gomphocarpus fruticosus to reflect that it is in the family of African milkweeds.
Gomphocarpus was previously in the family Asclepiadaceae, but this family is now classified as a subfamily, Asclepiadoideae, in the family Apocynaceae. Members of the Asclepiadoideae have highly specialised flowers with complicated pollination mechanisms, and include the milkweeds (Asclepias, Gomphocarpus, Xysmalobium), carrion flowers (Stapelia, Huernia and Hoodia) and curiosities like Bushman's pipe (Ceropegia spp.).

Distribution
SW Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape).

Habitat
Albany Thicket, Desert, Fynbos, Grassland, Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, Nama Karoo, Savanna, Succulent Karoo. Dry sandy soils in open or disturbed places, often on riverbanks and along roadsides.

Links: PlantZAfrica

Image © arks

Image © arks
Kruger National Park, Shingwedzi

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Gentianales

Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:56 pm

Christmas Berry Chironia baccifera (Ambeibossie, Bitterbossie)
Order: Gentianales. Family: Gentianaceae

Image © arks
Cape Point

Description
Tangled shrublet with narrow, spreading leaves. This is a fast-growing, rounded suffrutex (shrub with woody stems only at the base), which grows to an average height of 450 mm but can reach 1 m. The leaves are small, narrow and dark green. It has starry bright pink flowers, followed by bright red berries. It flowers from November to January.

Distribution
It occurs from Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal, along the coastal belt south through Eastern Cape and Western Cape and as far north as Namaqualand in Northern Cape, from sea level up to altitudes of 1 450 m.

Habitat
It is usually found in dry, sandy soil on flats, slopes or sand dunes, growing in the shade of other plants, it and can withstand wind.