Tuesday, 9 October 2012 – Luderitz to Rosh Pinah
Enthused by yesterday’s plants, particularly those seen at S2641, we set of to a spot suggested by friends in the UK, S2644, 2 km from Haalenberg, north of the B4 Luderitz to Aus road. Again, I’ll limit myself to showing you my favourite pics.
My scribbles from the day say that Juttadinteria simpsonii is reported from here, but did we see it? Would I recognise it? The first run through of the images had a unidentified plant here, small mesemb with knobbly leaves. Back in the UK I entered the Juttadinteria name into Google and the images that appeared suggest that we did indeed see it:
I’m now quite good at recognising Sarcocaulon patersonii, but what was the creamy white-flowered plant here? Back to the Bushman Candles and there it was: Monsonia crassicaulis from the Haalenberg area!
It’s always nice to see plants that you have grown in your green house in the UK growing here in nature. That was the case here with Lithops karasmontana ssp. eberlanzii at S2644, near the location where Desmond Cole found C398, C399 and C400. It looked very dehydrated and my instincts were to water it, but that is probably how I used to kill the Lithops at home: watering to encourage the new leaf pair to grow, before the old leaf pair had withered away.
We moved on to S2645, still along the C13 and quite near, south of Aus and after some searching found the plant that David had seen here on a previous visit: Crassula mesembryanthemopsis. The plants were almost completely covered in sand so after the initial ‘as we found them’ pictures, it was down on hands and knees to blow away some of the sand to expose the plants:
Also at this location I photographed this plant:The leaves of this small shrub suggest a Mesemb, but without flowering parts it’s difficult to confirm. The spines looked unusual until I learned in Mesembs of the World that there is a group, Group 13, of Ruschia-like Shrubby Mesembs, so that narrows it down a bit … to about 241 taxa!! Eberlanzia sedoides might be a candidate? This is a monotypic genus but 26 names have been used and are now called Ruschia and placed in the subgenus Spinosae. I’ll have to load this image up to iSpot to see if anyone there can give a more positive ID. [PS: Most impressive! In less then an hour of posting this observation on iSpot, there was a confirmed ID! Ruschia divaricata]
And while I’m at it I could post this image of another Mesemb photographed at S2648 that initially I had down as a Monilaria sp., until I learned that there is a whole group (group 8) of bead-leaved Mesembs, totalling 21 species in 5 genera! So which one is this?
PS – I know that some of you have subscribed to follow this blog and receive an email each time that a new posting is published BUT there are no notifications if I edit an existing page! So, do check back occasionally!