Orbea verrucosa

According to the literature, this species occurs from just west of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape to the Kei River in the Eastern Cape.
The pictures shown here however, were taken not fear east of Ladismith, extending the known distribution area 70-80 km westwards. The plants grow here in one of their typical habitats: on dry stony slopes among small bushes.
When you have a close look at the first two pictures, you will see that they are almost identical – but one is taken with ambient light and the other with flash. Can you see which is which and do you have a preference?



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Flowering plants photographed 24 March 2011; plant in fruit: 1 November 2012

Playing with light

Strange though it may sound, up to yesterday I never managed to make a decent picture of a fully open Anacampseros telephiastrum flower.
Yesterday afternoon I went out to Kanonkop (Cannon head), a rocky outcrop overlooking Montagu. Although I did not find what I had hoped to see, there were several other interesting plants, including a lot of flowering  Anacampseros telephiastrums. In fact I have never seen so many plants of this species together in one spot.  The flowers appear in November and December; they only open late afternoon (the pictures were made at about quarter past four).

For the first picture I just made a photo of what was in front of the camera. The result was not really exciting, to put it mildly.
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For the second one I positioned my camera bag in such a way that it shaded the background. Because of the great contrast in light between the  flower and the dark background, the flower was totally overexposed.
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When I took the same picture but with one stop underexposure (and somewhat more close up) the result was as follows.
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This was the basis for the last picture, which was enhanced in post production by lowering contrast and highlights and raising the clarity, combined with a bit of cropping.
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Jacobsenia (Drosanthemopsis) vaginata

These plants only occur in a small area near Riethuis in Namaqualand, where they grow in very salty, loamy sand with quartz pebbles. Usually they are not taller than 8 cm.
The average rainfall in the area is less than 100 mm per year.



Curio radicans

A well known species in cultivation, but also widely distributed in nature (from southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape).
What is not so well known yet is the genus name Curio which apparently we are now supposed to use. So beware, when the taxonomy police comes round next time, you will need a good excuse if you still use the name Senecio (or even Kleinia) radicans.

Whatever you want to call it, I hope you will enjoy the following pictures.





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