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After my failure yesterday to climb a reasonably low hill, today’s ‘Mountain’ Mt. Itiby looked quite intimidating as we parked the car.

Again, we’re pushed for time as I write this, so for now I’ll stick to the list of plants that I photographed and the fact that my pride is restored to some extend, although I am still the slowest thing on the road! The ‘invisible hand’ (beta blockers, to protect my heart) won’t allow me to build up to the speed of the others and the statin tablets to help the control of chloresterol have taken their toll on my muscles – dose halved at my last review shortly before take off. But I got there!

So, in alphabetical order we saw:

Aloe capitata var quartziticola
Aloe laeta
Bulbophyllum sp. – a small Orchids
Kalanchoe integrifolia – ranging from small plantlets to shrubs in size
Kalanchoe synsepala the “Walking Kalanchoe.”
Pachypodium brevicaule – bare, in leaf, in bud, in flower and in fruit – the full story!
Pachypodium densiflorum high on a rock, in flower

Pachypodium brevicaule on Mt Itiby

Pachypodium brevicaule on Mt Itiby

For me, the Pachapodium were the highlight of the day. As soon as I had photographed my first one, I was ready to go back to the car – but actually the break for photos helped me to recover a bit. The Pachypodium‘s bark is so smooth, it just demands to be stroked and there was lots of opprtunity to do so. But not for P. densiflorum that, here, only grew high on a large rock, out of stroking range, except for Willy, our local guide who was a former student of Christophe, who took off his sandals (Brian please note!) as an indication that there was some serious climbing for him to do, to bring down some of the flowers to allow us to see the one of the differences between P. brevicaule and P. densiflorum. From a distance, P. densiflorum forms short but clearly visible branches, as it had done in my collection in the UK before it rotted.

Great day!

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