Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:40 pm

Wild Pink, Wilde-Angelier Dianthus mooiensis
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Caryophyllaceae

Image © Super Mongoose
Dianthus mooiensis kirkii. Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve, North West Province

Description
A perennial herb with a woody base. Leaves in widely spaced pairs, narrow, tapering to long point, up to 8 cm long x 3 mm. Pink or white flowers up to 35 mm diam (Sept- Nov). They are clearly identifiable by the ragged fringes of the petals. The narrow, fringed blade is ± twice as long as wide. Inflorescence forking irregularly. Flowers singly on long stalks. Calyx tube with five segments. Petals five with long stalks inside calyx, broader and spreading outside.
Three varieties are described:
Dianthus mooiensis F.N.Williams ssp. kirkii (Burtt Davy) S.S.Hooper
Dianthus mooiensis F.N.Williams ssp. mooiensis var. dentatus Burtt Davy
Dianthus mooiensis F.N.Williams ssp. mooiensis var. mooiensis
Ssp. mooiensis has leaves on flowering shoots rigid. Leaves on flowering shoots not rigid in ssp. kirkii.

Distribution
South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland. Provincial distribution in South Africa: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West.

Habitat
Grassland over Cave Sandstone and basalt, up to c. 2450 m.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:21 pm

Hairy Dewflower Drosanthemum eburneum (Wit Douvygie)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Description
Inflorescence ochre, hispid from many erect to decumbent, long papillae. Leaves 10-20 mm, with a central short finger-shaped protrusion.

Distribution
South African endemic, Northern Cape

Links: Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae A-E

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:11 am

Common Iceplant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (Brakslaai, Brakvy)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image © ExFmem

Description
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum produces cymes of white many-stellate flowers from August to September. Flower 7–10 mm diam; hypanthium round, aging red; sepals 5, equal; petals white, aging pink.
It has simple leaves that are opposite. The leaves are ovate, undulate and sessile, flat, reddish with age or stress. Glabrous, conspicuously papillate (having bumps or projections). 2–20 cm, petioled (stalked); blade flat, ovate to spoon-shaped, margin wavy, lower ± cordate.
Stem trailing, forked, < 1 m long.
The fruit is a 5 valved capsule, opening when wet.

Distribution
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum is native to Namibia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape), Lesotho and Swaziland.
Introduced around the arid coastal regions of the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf; naturalized in California and Australia.

Habitat
Sandveld coastal and inland; coastal grassland; Karoo, winter rainfall areas.

Ecology
It can switch between C3 & CAM photosynthesis, enabling the plant to adapt to high salt and arid areas and to withstand environmental stresses. The Iceplant accumulates salt throughout its life, in a gradient from the roots to the shoots, with the highest concentration stored in epidermal bladder cells. The salt is released by leaching once the plant dies, resulting in a detrimental osmotic environment preventing the growth of other, non-tolerant species while allowing M. crystallinum seeds to germinate.

Links: Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:37 am

Giant Iceplant Mesembryanthemum barklyi (Boesmanseep, Brakslaai)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae. Subfamily: Mesembryanthemoideae

Image

Image

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Image
Richtersveld National Park

Description
Very large prostate succulent. The plants are annual or biennual, depending on the amount of water available. This is the largest species of the genus, with plants up to 1.5 m tall and leaves as large as 40 cm long and 25 cm wide.
Erect or partially so, sometimes twining, glaucous or purplish. Stems 4-angled. Leaves broadly spathulate, usually to 28 x 18 cm., linear to lanceolate, fleshy, dark green with whitish veins. Basal leaves largest. Flowers 2-20 mm in diameter, white to pinkish. Petals numerous, narrowly linear to thread-like.

Distribution
SW Namibia, South Africa (Namaqualand, Northern Cape).

Habitat
On sandy plains, in disturbed places, winter and summer rainfall regions.

Links: Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae F-Z

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:49 pm

T'Noutsiama Cheiridopsis denticulata
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image
White form. Goegap Nature Reserve, Northern Cape

Description
Cheiridopsis denticulata is a small, spreading, shrublet. Compact, cushion-forming succulent to 10 cm. The grey-green leaves grow in erect, similar pairs. The leaves are opposite with one or two, sometimes three, erect pairs of leaves on many ground-level branches. The leaves are grey-blue in colour with their surfaces slightly wrinkled during dry seasons. Leaves are triangular in cross-section. Leaf keels taper to the side, convexly or concavely, with tiny spines at their tips.
The flowers are cream, white or yellow, often with an orange or purplish tinge on the outer parts of the petals. The capsule is 8- to 19-locular with pyriform-triangular (pear-shaped-triangular), whitish to brownish seeds.

Distribution
The distribution range of Cheiridopsis denticulata covers a broad band spreading from Lüderitz, in Namibia, southwards through the Richtersveld and Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province, to the northern parts of the Western Cape Province, in South Africa. The largest concentration of the species is in the vicinity of Stinkpot and Platbakkies in Namaqualand.

Habitat
Winter-rainfall areas.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:07 pm

Finger Iceplant Mesembryanthemum hypertrophicum, Opophytum hypertrophicum (Kinderpielletjie)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae. Subfamily: Mesembryanthemoideae

Image © Kesheshe
Richtersveld National Park

Description
Annual. Forming loose clumps up to 60 cm diameter. Leaves blunt, highly succulent, turning lime-green to yellowish when water-stressed. Flowers can be pale pink or cream to white.

Distribution
Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape).

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Sun May 04, 2014 9:23 pm

Carpetweed Pharnaceum croceum
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Molluginaceae

Image
Namaqua 8.10.2012

Description
Annual (occ. perennial) dwarf shrub, 5-10 cm. The stem is shrubby, much branched. White petals and orange cup.

Distribution
Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape, North West).

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Wed May 07, 2014 10:43 pm

Spiny Ruschia Ruschia spinosa (Doringvygie)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image © Tina
Unripe fruits

Image © Tina
Tankwa Karoo National Park

Plants in the Ruschia genus are among the most striking, versatile and diverse of all succulents in the Aizoaceae family. Plants may vary from large, erect shrubs reaching 1.4 m, to dwarf, tufted and even mat-forming ground cover species. All plants possess mostly woody roots, which are situated very close to the soil surface. Branches are also woody and tough with short internodes that are often covered with dry leaves. There are some species that possess spines as protection against grazing animals. The flowers of Ruschia vary from white to pink and purple. They very much resemble another genus, Lampranthus, but the latter have much bigger flowers and more colour types. Members of Ruschia are all very floriferous; flowers literally cover the entire plant. Flowering takes place throughout the year, reaching a peak in the autumn and spring. Flowers are diurnal (opening during the day) and sweet scented; the leaves are often bluish green, three-sided, sometimes with teeth along the edges and are nearly always stippled with darker, transparent dots which is an interesting feature in the genus.

Description
The spinescent shrublet Ruschia spinosa reaches 0.3 m tall. Leaf succulent shrub with sharp, branched spines on dry seed heads. Leaves 3-sides, green turning red in hot, dry conditions. They are opposite and joined in pairs, forming a sleeve base for the next pair to emanate from.
Flowers purple, smallish, prolific in August-September following wet winters.
Capsule with 5 lobes. Seeds very small (0.3 mm) dispersed by raindrop splash when capsules open in wet conditions.

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

Habitat
Clay-rich soils of plains in Succulent and Nama Karoo. Widespread, except in grassy areas. This species is well adapted to very harsh conditions.

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:25 am

Ruschia Ruschia geminiflora
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image © Tina

Image © Tina

Image © Tina
West Coast National Park

Description
Suculent shrub with weak, long creeping branches, upt to 60 cm long. Leaves triquetrous, green, apically recurved. Flowers in cymes or pairs, petals purple; filaments white, purple in the middle, anthers pale. Flowers from September to October.

Distribution
South African endemic to the Western Cape. Cape Peninsula to Kalbaskraal and West Coast National Park.

Habitat
Fynbos, strandveld. Clay flats, also in alluvial sands and shales over clay or coastal sands.

Status
Vulnerable

Re: Africa Wild Flower Book - Order Caryophyllales

Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:59 am

Dune Spinach, Sea Spinach Tetragonia decumbens (Duinespinasie, Kinkelbos)
Order: Caryophyllales. Family: Aizoaceae (Mesembryanthemaceae)

Image © Tina
Dolphin Beach, Cape Town

Description
This succulent is a spreading shrub. The leaves are alternate, succulent and obovate with entire margins. Leaves are variable in size, from 1 cm to 6 cm long and 0,5 cm to 3,5 cm wide. They are dark green, sessile and glistening. The sheen is caused by small, shiny, water-storage cells that cover the surface of the leaf. The trailing branches grow up to 1 m long. The small, 4-petalled, yellow flowers are situated in groups of 3-5 in the upper leaf axils. They flower from August to November. The fruits are thickly 4-winged.

Distribution
On the coast from southern Namibia to South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape).

Habitat
Found on coastal sand dunes. A dominant species throughout the South West Coast often forms dense patches.

Image © arks

Image © arks

Along the Kommetjie boardwalk (which is part of TMNP) in late November 2015