It never rains but it pours

It is about one and a half week ago now that my most recent post appeared. It was rather an eventful period here, to put it mildly. It started when my wife was run down by one of the dogs, resulting in a hip replacement last Friday. Fortunately she is back home now again.
In the same period my C: drive started to pack up after not much more than 1.5 years of use. As most of you will know, installing a hard drive per se is not a big deal, but after this you are left with a lot of problems: missing programs, software that suddenly needs an activation code you cannot find etc., etc.  When it was found out that the motherboard also did not work properly, the whole circus started all over again. I’d rather be in the field looking for plants, but that will have to wait for a while, I’m afraid.
Anyway, now you know the reason why, if my posting should be a bit erratic for some time.

Monsonia salmoniflora (= Sarcocaulon salmoniflorum)

It is always a bit sad when a name that you have known for many years, is replaced by another one. This is even more so if the old name had a certain appeal to you, e.g. because it sounded nice or had a meaning that made it easy to remember. Some of these name changes are unavoidable as they are the result of following the nomenclatural code. In other cases it is more a matter of opinion, so much so that one sometimes wonders what the value of the new name really is. Probably better not to open this can of worms here.
In 1996 the genus Sarcocaulon was included in the genus Monsonia based on molecular studies and it seems that the new arrangement has been more or less generally accepted by now.
M. salmoniflora forms shrublets up to 40 cm tall and is widely distributed in Namibia and South Africa. The plants flower mainly in Oct.-Dec. The flowers are up to 3 cm across with colours ranging from pink to orange.







Haemanthus crispus

Yeah, yeah, I know this is not a succulent, but as most succulentophiles like other plants as well, I decided to smuggle this one in for a change. If you don’t like what you see, you can just move on.
This bulbous plant occurs abundantly throughout Namaqualand from Steinkopf southwards to the Olifants River.
The photos were taken between Garies and Hondeklipbaai on 31 March 2012. The beautifully undulated leaves are usually present  from March till October.



Haworthia maraisii v. maraisii

Today for the first time after my move, I saw fit to get out to take some pictures in the area.
Several years ago I found plants of Haworthia maraisii v. maraisii on the outskirts of Montagu and as it happens I now live just a few hundred meters from that locality. Although I thought I had a good idea where they grew, I had searched a few times before without spotting them again. That was a bit frustrating, especially because the habitat is along a signposted trail, in open terrain, maybe a hundred meters from a tarred road.
After I found the first plant today, I spent quite a while trying to find more specimens. In the end it became clear that they only occurred on a rocky outcrop of  not more than 3 or 4 square meters.
As the photos will show, the plants are usually well hidden in patches of coarse sand or between stones. In the second photo you will also see Adromischus filicaulis ssp. marlothii.

hawomaramar 20130814-8653res

hawomaramar 130814-8655res

hawomaramar 130814-8659res

hawomaramar 130814-8661res

hawomaramar 130814-8658res


Pelargonium magenteum

This species forms a little shrub up to 1 m tall, with tuberous roots. The beautiful flowers may have any colour from pink to mauve and deep magenta, and appear from May to Olctober. The pictures have been taken at different spots within the distribution area, which runs from Vanrhynsdorp southwards to Montagu and eastwards to the surroundings of Calitzdorp. It is usually found on rocky outcrops.

pelamageDSC_0056 - Copy-2res