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.

caraedit 2014-Edit

caraedit DSC_2007-Edit

caraedit DSC_1995-Edit
caraedit DSC_1999-Edit

caraedit DSC_2162-Edit

Sansevieria arborescens

As the name implies, plants of this species can become quite tall (as Sansevierias go). Actually, it rather looks like a Yucca.
The stems are up to 1.5 m tall, branching at or near the base, with many leaves. These are 20-45 cm long and 2-4.5 cm wide, with a whitish or reddish margin and usually somewhat twisted.
The species is locally very common in lowland thornbush in Kenya and Tanzania.
The pictures were taken on 4 October 2015 in the Bamba area (Kilifi district, Kenya) at altitudes between 160 and 230 m.

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Aloe ketabrowniorum

This species was described in 1994 from Hurran Hurra in Kenya (west of North Horr, at the north end of the Chalbi Desert). A year later a second locality was found,  but no other ones have been recorded.
Northern Kenya is rather under-collected, so the species may well occur in other places too, but for the moment it should be considered to be rare and endangered.
I was therefore quite chuffed to be able to see the species in the wild. The population looked quite healthy and several plants were in flower. The altitude of the locality is about 580 m.
Aloe ketabrowniorum forms low clumps to ca. 1 m in diameter, branching from the base. The stem creep on the ground with their tips raised and are to 30 cm long.
The leaves are to 38 cm long and 4.5 cm wide at the base, with small but firm marginal teeth. The inflorescences are to 70 cm tall.

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Euphorbia kalisana (part 1 of 2)

The name kalisana has its origin in Swahili and means very fierce. This is indeed the first impression the plants convey. At the same time they are  peculiarly beautiful with their colourful stems and often almost white spinescence .
The plant’s roots are thick and fleshy and give rise to a stem up to 7.5 cm high and 20 cm in diameter, its top usually more  or less at ground-level. Its sprawling branches are up 1 m long and to 2 cm thick, with very robust, to 7 cm long spines.

One can find the plants in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia on gravelly soil (often lava) at an altitude between 100 and 100o m.
The pictures were taken south and north of Mt. Kulal, at altitudes between 485 and 925 m. The plants from this very arid area are usually larger and more robust than those from the lower altitude plains further east.
The first picture gives an impression of one of these desolate places between Loiyangalani and North Horr.

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Momordica rostrata

Of the about 900 species of the Pumpkin Family (Cucurbitaceae), nearly 10% can be classified as a caudiciform succulent. The subject of this post is a clear example.
It is a climber  with a tuberous  rootstock 15-20 cm across,  which is visible above ground and tapers into the stems which may be up to 7 m long.
Young stems are green and soft, soon becoming dark green, grey or brownish and somewhat woody.
The plants are dioecious (either male or female) and produce egg-shaped
fruits which are  bright red, up to 7 x 3 cm and beaked (=rostrata).
The species occurs in deciduous bushland, thicket , woodland and wooded grassland from sea level to 1650 m in tropical East Africa: southern Ethiopia and the adjacent part of Somalia, northeastern Uganda, Kenya, northern and central Tanzania.

The pictures were taken in Kenya and northern Tanzania, except for the last one, which shows a young plant in cultivation.

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