Huernia guttata subsp. guttata

In this subspecies the stems have 4 or 5 angles; they are 2 to 10 cm long and 1-1.5 cm thick, grey-green, sometimes with faint purple-red spots.
The striking flowers are 2-7.5 cm in diameter and appear in November-April.
Plants are found from Somerset East to near Willowmore, between Uniondale and Joubertina and also between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp, under bushes on stony slopes.
The pictures shown here were all taken in the latter area and represent the former subsp. calitzdorpensis  (the plant in the third picture was growing next to the road, hence the specks of dust).

 

 

Hoodia pilifera subsp. pilifera (part 1 of 2)

In the wild, this taxon is rare and endangered by both habitat degradation (as a result of overgrazing)  and harvesting (for medicinal purposes).
Plants are found in the Little Karoo from Montagu to near Uniondale and in the southern Great Karoo from Matjiesfontein to Gamkapoort and Klaarstroom; they usually grow inside bushes.
The plants have few to many stems (3-6 cm in diameter) and form shrubs up to 80 cm tall and 2 meter across.
Flowers mainly appear in the upper part of the stem and have a nasty smell; they are 1.6-2 cm across and pinkish brown to very dark purplish brown, with a raised annulus.

My good friend George Hattingh of Calitzdorp, with whom I have spent many wonderful hours in the field, has kindly given me permission to make use of his pictures as and when needed, for which I am very grateful.

Picture by George Hattingh


 

 

Caralluma edithae

Usually the colour of the stems is a peculiar beige-greyish. In combination with their distinctly projecting teeth and hardened leaf-scars, this makes these plants usually  immediately recognizable in the wild (Somaliland and the adjacent part of Ethiopia : the Ogaden). When the plants have had some rain or are growing in a sheltered place, the colour tends to be more greenish (see last picture).
The stems are 10-30 cm long, with as a rule 4 ribs.
The inflorescences are 5-7 cm in diameter, with 30-70 flowers, which are about 1.5 cm across and smell strongly of manure.
Most of the pictures were taken in the Medishu Valley, Somaliland, late September/early October 2015.

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Caralluma edithae

Usually the colour of the stems is a peculiar beige-greyish. In combination with their distinctly projecting teeth and hardened leaf-scars, this makes these plants usually  immediately recognizable in the wild (Somaliland and the adjacent part of Ethiopia : the Ogaden). When the plants have had some rain or are growing in a sheltered place, the colour tends to be more greenish (see last picture).
The stems are 10-30 cm long, with as a rule 4 ribs.
The inflorescences are 5-7 cm in diameter, with 30-70 flowers, which are about 1.5 cm across and smell strongly of manure.
Most of the pictures were taken in the Medishu Valley, Somaliland, late September/early October 2015.

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Caralluma foetida

When not in flower, this species is difficult to distinguish from related species like C. retrospiciens and C. speciosa.
The stems are 2-3.5 cm thick and up to 20 cm tall, forming cushions to 1.5 m in diameter. The inflorescences are terminal heads of about 30 to 40 flowers, each about 2.5 cm in diameter.

The species occurs from Karamoja in Uganda and adjacent areas in Kenya to as far east as Archers Post.
Pictures were made near South Horr, Kenya, late September 2015.

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Caralluma foetida

When not in flower, this species is difficult to distinguish from related species like C. retrospiciens and C. speciosa.
The stems are 2-3.5 cm thick and up to 20 cm tall, forming cushions to 1.5 m in diameter. The inflorescences are terminal heads of about 30 to 40 flowers, each about 2.5 cm in diameter.

The species occurs from Karamoja in Uganda and adjacent areas in Kenya to as far east as Archers Post.
Pictures were made near South Horr, Kenya, late September 2015.

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Hoodia (Trichocaulon) alstonii

Of the small-flowered Hoodias this is by far the tallest, with plants growing into many-stemmed shrubs up to slightly over a meter tall and 0.5 m wide.
The stems have an unusual whitish, grey-green colour and their 20-22 obtuse angles are armed with exceptionally hard and sharp spines.
The upper parts of the stems produce large numbers of flowers 1-1.8 cm in diameter.
The species has an unusual distribution. It occurs in the winter rainfall area of
Namibia on stony hillsides east of Luederitz and along the lower reaches of the Orange River.
In South Africa it also occurs along the lower Orange River: the western part of the area here receives rainfall in winter, whereas in the eastern part the rain falls in summer.
These habitats are surprisingly arid and in general the plants grow in the open on either rocky slopes or stony, flat areas.

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