Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:01 am

Karoo Violet Peliostomum virgatum
Order: Lamiales. Family: Scrophulariaceae

Image
Namaqualand

Peliostomum is a truly southern African genus, occurring only in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Description
Perennial dwarf shrub with ovate leaves and purple tubular flowers. Much-branched from a woody rootstock; branches leafy except near the base; leaves alternate, oval, obtuse at the apex, somewhat narrowed at the subsessile or very shortly petiolate base, somewhat fleshy and viscid. Flowers axillary; corolla very sparingly pubescent or nearly glabrous, purple.

Distribution
South African endemic (Limpopo, Northern Cape, Western Cape). Widespread in Namaqualand.

Habitat
Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:33 pm

Bitter Bush Selago glutinosa
Order: Lamiales. Family: Scrophulariaceae

Image
Cederberg

Description
Dwarf, erect shrublet to 60 cm with glutinous, leathery, needle- or sausage-like leaves 5-15 mm long; bears fragrant, very small white flowers. Perennial, much branched; branches puberulous; leaves not fascicled, densely crowded, more or less spreading, linear, subacute, hispidulous or puberulous, 3–7 lin. long; spikes oblong, dense, 1–2 lin. long; bracts linear, subacute, pubescent or villous, 1 1/2–2 1/2 lin. long; calyx 1 1/2–2 lin. long, densely villous; lobes narrowly triangular, acute, rather shorter than the tube; corolla-tube oblong, 2 1/2 lin. long; lobes broadly oblong, about half as long as the tube.

Distribution
South African endemic (Northern Cape, Western Cape). COAST REGION: Clanwilliam; Cederberg, between Blue Berg and Honig Vallei, Elephants River and near Brak Fontein, mountain slopes at Wupperthal, Kers Kop, near Wupperthal, Worcester; Hex River Valley, on Groote Tafel Berg, WESTERN REGION: Little Namaqualand; on rocks at Roode Berg and Modderfonteins Berg.

Habitat
Rocky sandstone and granite slopes in arid fynbos in Namaqualand and the southwestern Cape.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Tickberry Lantana camara
Order: Lamiales. Family: Verbenaceae

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park

Description
A spreading shrub or untidy scrambler growing up to 2m or higher. Stems usually covered with short, stiff hairs and recurved thorns. Dark green, rough, hairy leaves which are paler below and smell strongly when crushed. Pink, red, crimson, orange, yellow or white flowers in compact, flat-topped heads, often with several colours in one head, appear from September to April. Glossy green fruits which turn purplish-black. Poisonous O-/ . Lantana camara is poisonous to livestock and children have been known to die after eating unripe berries. O-/

Distribution
Invasive alien in South Africa :shock: . The native range of Lantana camara includes Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia. It has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. Lantana camara has been declared a Category 1 invasive weed in South Africa. In terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (No 43 of 1983) land occupiers and owners are legally obliged to control this weed.Lantana is one of the worst weeds in the world which is still widening its range. It is probably the most widespread invasive plant in Africa. One of the reasons that lantana camara is able to colonise areas easily is because it releases chemicals into the soil that can prevent the germination and growth of other plant species.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Wild Verbena, Purpletop Vervain, Tall Verbena, Clustertop Vervain, Pretty Verbena Verbena bonariensis (Blouwaterbossie)
Order: Lamiales. Family: Verbenaceae

Image © Lisbeth
Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

Description
Verbena bonariensis is a tall and slender-stemmed perennial. It can grow to 120 cm tall and can spread to 90 cm wide. At maturity, it will develop a woody base. Fragrant lavender to rose-purple flowers are in tight clusters located on terminal and axillary stems, blooming from mid-summer until fall frost. The stem is square with very long internodes. Leaves are ovate to ovate-lanceolate with a toothed margin and grow up to 10 cm long.

Distribution
Invasive alien from South America. Category 1 declared plant. Northern and eastern provinces of South Africa, especially Gauteng and North West Province.

Habitat
Grassland, disturbed sites, wet places, floodplains.

Image © Super Mongoose

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

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

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:37 pm

Wild Jasmine, Brazilian Jasmine Jasminum fluminense fluminense
Order: Laminales. Family: Oleaceae

Image © mposthumus
Kruger National Park

Description
Woody climber or scrambler. Leaves dull and hairy, 3-foliolate; leaflets ovate to near-circular. Flowers fragrant, white, sometimes tinged with pink, sweetly scented. Fruit a glossy brown to black berry, sometimes 2-lobed.
This species and Jasminum abyssinicum are our only two native species of Jasminum with compound leaves.

Distribution
Throughout Africa and extending to Arabia and the Seychelles; introduced to South America.
Provincial distribution in South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.

Habitat
In riverine vegetation, riverine thicktes in bushveld.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:29 pm

Elegant Witchweed, Large Witchweed Striga elegans (Rooiblom)
Order: Laminales. Family: Orobanchaceae (previously Scrophulariaceae)

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

Description
Witchweeds are characterized by bright-green stems and leaves and small, brightly colored and attractive flowers. They are obligate hemiparasites of roots and require a living host for germination and initial development, though they can then survive on their own.

Striga elegans is an unbranched, erect, annual herb, about 20 cm tall. It has much larger flowers than the similar S. asiatica and a more dense inflorescence with a larger number of flowers open at the same time. The lower lip is more deeply 3-lobed.
It is a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of a large variety of grass species hosts. It attaches itself to the roots of a grass plant that functions as host.
The stem is thin, erect, green, sometimes branched to a limited extent.
The leaves are linear or lanceolate, opposite or nearly so, about 1 cm in length; erect, course and hairy.
The flowers are usually bright red, sometimes white or yellow. Terminal clusters of scarlet tubular flowers, about 1,5 cm in length, appear during summer to autumn; the flower tube is characteristically bent; the petals arranged with a somewhat smaller two or three-lobed upper section and a larger three lower lower section, the central lower lobe or lip being slightly longer; the calyx is prominently veined
Five-sided capsules; the seeds are fine, brown, dust-like.

Distribution
Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West).

Habitat
In montane grassland and woodland.
Amazing FactsImage
The common name of Witchweed was given to Striga elegans because the plant has a surprising, seemingly magical, way of establishing itself from seed. :shock: It is a parasite which forms absorptive connections on the roots of certain grasses. Its seeds germinate in the presence of host root exudate, and develop haustoria which penetrate host root cells. Host root exudate contain strigolactones, signaling molecules that promote striga seed germination. A bell-like swell forms where the parasitic roots attach to the roots of the host. The pathogen colonizes underground, where it may spend the next four to seven weeks before emergence, when it rapidly flowers and produces seeds. Witchweed seeds spread easily by wind, water, and soil via animal vectors.

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

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:27 pm

Keyhole Fingerphlox Manulea altissima (Alidasblom, Vingertjiebos)
Order: Lamiales. Family: Scrophulariaceae

Image
Seen 8.10.2012 Namaqualand

Description
Glandular-haired, erect, short-lived perennial to 1 m, with ± toothed leaves crowded at the base, obscurely toothed. Dense flower heads on leafless branches. The flowers are tightly packed in clusters – white with yellow centers, sweetly scented, the mouth of the tube shaped like a keyhole.

Distribution
Manulea altissima altissima is endemic to the Western Cape, it ranges from about Doringbaai and Klaver south to the environs of Langebaan. Manulea altissima glabricaulis is found in the Northern Cape.

Habitat
Sandy areas.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:00 pm

Devil's Claw Harpagophytum procumbens
Order: Laminales. Family: Pedaliaceae

Image © nan

Image © nan
Seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, 17.2.2011

Description
Devil's claw is a prostrate, sprawling plant with a stout, perennial rootstock that has a group of secondary storage tubers arising from it. Trailing annual stems bear opposite leaves. These are irregularly 3-5-lobed and greyish green because they are covered in tiny whitish mucilage cells.
The flowers are trumpet-shaped and range in colour from dark velvety red or purple to pink while the tube base and mouth are yellowish; they can be all yellow, all purple or white. The very distinctive spiny fruits, from which many of the common names are derived, are woody, oval and flattened capsules armed with 2 central spines and 2 lateral rows of 12 - 16 horny arms bearing hooked spines. In subsp. procumbens the arms are longer than the fruit is wide, whereas in subsp. transvaalense they are as long as, or shorter than that. The many seeds are roughly oblong and dark brown or black. The plants flower mainly from about November to April (summer) and have fruits from about January.

Distribution
Devil’s Claw grows mainly in the Kalahari sands of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Angola, and to a lesser extent in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Within South Africa this species occurs in the Northern Cape, North West, Free State, and Limpopo Provinces and the largest populations are found in the communally owned areas of the North West Province and the north eastern parts of the Northern Cape.
Harpagophytum procumbens subsp. procumbens is found in most of Namibia, except the far northern, northeastern and western parts, Botswana and South Africa (in the provinces of North-West, western Free State and Northern Cape). The subsp. transvaalense is found only in the far north of Limpopo Province.

Habitat
Devil's claw grows mostly in the savanna biome and is associated mainly with dry sandveld on deep Kalahari sand. It usually occupies plains, dune bases and interdunes. Soils are usually sandy but can be rocky. They are generally nutrient poor, often with lime. The plants can probably withstand some frost as they are geophytes, being dormant in winter. Distribution is often patchy.

Image © Sharifa

Image © Sharifa
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Gharagab area

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Sat May 03, 2014 8:59 pm

Southern Lilac Drumsticks, Blue Drumsticks Zaluzianskya villosa
Order: Lamiales. Family: Scrophulariaceae

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Description
A low hairy annual, 6-30 cm tall, branched, with Y-shaped petals. Unusual among South African flowers since they only open in the late afternoon and evening. A profusion of yellow-eyed, white, mauve or purple, pinwheel flowers are borne on elongated stems. The number of petals is five and they are deeply lobed. Each flower has a very noticeable deep yellow centre. The closed flowers resemble drumsticks, hence the designation ‘drumsticks'. Flowering time lasts for many month through winter and spring.
Similar species: Zaluzianskya affinis grows on coastal sandy flats in Namaqualand, also inland towards Springbok and northwards into the Richtersveld. The plant is commonly called northern purple drumsticks (or northern lilac drumsticks), differing from the southern purple (or lilac) drumsticks only insofar as its leaves have sharply pointed tips. The leaves of both species are narrow and alternate on the branched, hairy stems.

Distribution
South African endemic: Western Cape.

Habitat
It is mostly found in sandy flat areas and along the coast.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Laminales

Mon May 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Cat Herb, Cape Horehound Ballota africana (Kattekruie)
Order: Lamiales. Family: Lamiaceae

Image © nan
Namaqualand 8.10.2012

Description
Aromatic, soft-textured, greyish shrublet to 1.2 m tall. Along the West Coast, within reach of the cool sea breeze, kattekruie can grow into tall sturdy bushes, whereas in the hot Little Karoo the plants tend to be much smaller, growing in the shade of other bigger shrubs. Typical of the family Lamiaceae, the stems are square-shaped and the leaves are formed in pairs opposite each other.
Both the stems and leaves are covered in short, white hairs, which give the plant a grey colour. The soft grey or green leaves are round to heart-shaped and can give the impression of drooping because they point downwards. The edges are toothed and the surface of the leaves is very uneven with strong lines and wrinkles formed by the veins. When the leaves are squashed they give off a pungent smell.
The pink to purple flowers are formed in dense whorls along the tip of the stems. The green, hairy calyx that holds the colourful petals is the more prominent part of the flower and remains after the smaller petals have fallen. The old brown calyces that remain in small clusters down the stem make the plants easy to identify even when not in flower. The main flowering season is from late autumn to early summer (May to November), with a peak in spring.

Distribution
It is most common in the more arid, winter rainfall areas of the Cape. Its natural distribution stretches from the southern part of Namibia down to the West Coast and Cape Peninsula, throughout the Little Karoo and further along to the Eastern Cape and Free State.

Habitat
Ballota africana is usually found along streams, in the shelter of rocks and bushes, and as a pioneer in disturbed places.

Links: John Manning: Field Guide to Fynbos

Image © Tina

Image © Tina
West Coast National Park