Braunsia (Lampranthus) maximiliani

These little beauties have creeping branches to 17 cm long, rooting at the nodes and with velvety leaves.
The flowers are about 2.2 cm in diam and appear from July through October.
The plants grow in shallow pans on rock pavements from the Bokkeveld Mts to Clanwilliam, where they receive about 125 mm winter rainfall per year.

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braumaxiscan5 (2samples)


Gibbaeum gibbosum (part 2 of 2)

The first picture -taken in August- shows that not only human beings like these plants.  After winter rainfall, they are a juicy bite for hungry animals (in this case probably a tortoise).
The next four pictures were taken in October and November, when progressing heat and drought start discolouring the plants.
After summer the plants may look quite miserable (as shown in the last picture, taken in April).






Gibbaeum gibbosum (part 1 of 2)

Both the genus name and the specific epithet are derived from the word gibba (hump, referring to the irregularly swollen leaves).
Plants of this species are sometimes locally abundant in the Western part of the Little Karoo and the Southwest corner of the Great Karoo (Ceres, Laingsburg, Montagu and Worcester), usually in pebbly shale or quartz patches.
They form more or less compact clumps up to 15 cm in diameter with a woody rootstock.
The pink to purple flowers are 2-3 cm in diameter and appear in early spring (August).


Here G. gibbosum is accompanied by Tanquana prismatica (on right)


Kenya revisited (part 2 of 2)

The first three pictures are from in and around South Horr:
#1 one of the peculiar river beds in the village, just before sunrise
# 2 Adenium obesum bathing in early morning sunlight
# 3 at the end of a long day




The next one gives an impression of Mt. Kulal


The southeastern corner of Lake Turkana:


The last thre pictures are from the south of the country:
– Euphorbia classenii on the slopes of Mt. Kasigau
– Aloe ballyi in the Taita Hills
– Baobab (Adansonia digitata) near Mtito Andei




More pictures will find their way into upcoming posts!

Kenya revisited (part 1 of 2)

Last week I returned from my trip to Kenya. And what a trip it was, about 4000 km in 16 days, most of it on untarred roads,


with accommodation that takes some getting accustomed to,



and almost always the most simple of meals (think beans, chapatti and chai).
Fortunately, as all three of us are seasoned travelers, we had anticipated most of this.
On the positive side: we saw some magnificent scenery and great plants and we also met a couple of interesting and helpful people.
In this post and the following one, I will show you some of the scenery and the plants we saw.
The following picture shows Euphorbia magnicapsula north of Nakuru;

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the last two pictures show the scenery south of Baragoi and between Baragoi and South Horr resp.