Quaqua pillansii

It seemed appropriate to devote this first post from my new home to a plant that was first discovered near Montagu. Nowadays it is known to be widely distributed from just south of Ceres to the area north of Port Elizabeth.  In a genus where most plants look rather dull when not in flower, this is probably the most handsome. It is a robust species, forming shrubs of almost half a meter tall and even more in diameter. (The only Quaqua that is occasionally bigger is Q. mammillaris).  In spite of their  size, the plants are not always very easy to find. The shape and mottling of the stems provide a nice camouflage.
The two plants in habitat were photographed in early November at the northern foot of the Rooiberg pass near Calitzdorp.  The flowering plant is a cultivated one.

quaqpill 8239#2012-11-01res