Antimima pygmaea (part 1 of 2)

There are not many plants that look better or more interesting in the resting state than during active growth, but this species is certainly one of them.
The plants form low, densely branched mats to 15 cm in diameter.
The leaf pairs are dimorphic.  One pair is almost fused almost completely, to 5 mm tall and 3 mm wide, developing into a conical body which turns into a dry sheath protecting the subsequent leaf pair during the dry period. These white bodies become slashed with time and are typical for the species.
The plants occur on shaly slopes in a smallish area between Worcester and Laingsburg.

Irrespective of the statement in the first sentence of this post, the plants are quite cute when in flower. The flowers are up to 18 mm across and appear in winter (July-August).

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antipygm 7759#2012-05-09