It was time to leave Port Nolloth and move on to Springbok, from where we would make some more excursions into the Richtersveld and to the south into Namaqualand (by the way, it seems that the Richtersveld is part of Namaqualand – maps are rather vague on the subject.) We stopped at a pull-over on the R382, at the 47 km marker and during our look around came across Crassula alstonii. It seemed that like quite a few African succulents it is not as rare as I had believed and occurs in disjunct populations over quite an area.
I found a plant that had been kicked out by a passing animal and was surprised to see that the leaf bases had already started to form roots. I might try this at home as I believe that this species, like many of its cousins, is monocarpic and dies as soon as it has flowered, so that it would be good to have a few leaf cuttings on the go in case the main plant flowers.
We drove on to the scenic Anenous Pass (S2685), which David remembered as a must-see stop from previous trips. We were not disappointed.
With plenty of time left, we decided to explore a bit by heading back towards the Richtersveld, making a stop near a low hill where David and Eunice had spotted some Aloes. (S2686) Like many of the genera already mentioned, Aloe IDs too can be problematic. This large specimen looked rather majestic with many years worth of dead leaves covering a magnificent trunk.
We had not really prepared for this bit of exploration, took a few side tracks, changed our minds, took another and so on until, with the car stopped so that we could decide where we were and where to go next, a Euphorbia was spotted right alongside the car. As we had not seen any other cars since pulling off the R382, and without space on the track to pull over, we just dumped it where we stood and went off to take pictures of the Euphorbias, soon spotting this crested plant that was awarded best plant in show, at least as far as the Euphorbia class at this stop was concerned.
We looked to see if we could improve on this crested plant and instead stumbled across some other nice plants:
We had walked into a dense population of Conophytum, provisionally IDed as C. wettsteinii. It seemed that they grew in symbiosis with the little bonsai shrubs seen in the image. They grew on a small patch of hillside, some 30 x 30 m in size and there was no apparent reason what caused the invisible boundary, but all of a sudden, both species stopped at the same time. Strange and curious.
Another great day. Tomorrow we take a look to the east of Springbok.
Comments on: "Tuesday, 16 October 2012 – Port Nolloth to Springbok" (1)
Nice story & pictures! Specially about the Crassula alstonii. I love this plant.
Crassula alstonii doesn’t die back after flowering (fortunately 🙂 )
Great to see that it should be possible to take leaf cuttings from it as it almost never splits itself into more rosettes. I will have a try by myself now.