Antimima turneriana

This is the second member of the Antimima trio that I mentioned in the preceding post (Antimima evoluta).
These plants forms compact clumps up to 5 cm tall.
The leaves are up to 1.5 cm long and 0.8 cm wide and thick, keeled and with tough and hard margins; usually with convex sides.
Usually the flowers come in threes but sometimes they are solitary. They are pinkish-purple and 1.8 cm in diameter; they appear in June-July ( photographed 23 July 2017).

Occurring in crevices of white quartz, marble or limestone on the southern Knersvlakte.

Antimima evoluta

During my second trip this year to Namaqualand, I came across a trio of interesting and beautiful Antimimas which I had never seen in the wild before. Two of the 3  (A. fenestrata and A. turneriana) were in flower, but the one pictured here flowers in October and had only just woken up by the looks of it. All the plants were growing on low limestone hills in a spot maybe 100×100 m.

Antimima evoluta forms rounded clumps up to 5 cm tall, consisting of bodies about 4 mm long and wide.
At the end of the growing period, the pairs of old leaves dry up and form a white sheath protecting the new pairs during the hot and dry resting period.
In October the plants are decorated with magenta flowers up to 1.7 mm in diameter.

The species occurs on the Knersvlakte, extending eastwards to Loeriesfontein, and grows in crevices on slopes of white quartz or limestone mixed with marble.

Pictures taken 26th July 2017


Malephora purpureo-crocea

Because of its beautiful flowers this species is often seen as a garden plant.

It may be up to 30 cm tall, with branches that are at first upright but later lie down.
The leaves are almost cylindrical, 5-9 cm long and 0.8-1 cm thick.
Its flowers are about 3 cm in diameter, bright purple outside and yellow or purple inside; they appear in July-Sept.
The species is found on loamy soil from the Namaqualand Hardeveld to the Knersvlakte.


Cephalophyllum spissum

Forming compact cushions to 10 cm tall with leaves 4.5 to 6 cm long.
The flowers are pink to purple with a lighter centre and appear in July – August.
The plants are often confused with C. caespitosum but have fruits with 11-15 instead of 9-10 compartments.
They occur in the southern Knersvlakte in loamy soil among white quartz pebbles; often together with Argyroderma delaetii.


Oscularia comptonii

Of the 22 recognised species of Oscularia only two are reported to have white flowers. The “default“  colour is (light to dark) pink.
O. comptonii forms an erect shrublet to 25 cm tall, with more or less crescent-shaped, keeled leaves to 40 mm long.
The flowers are white to pale pink and up to 27 mm in diameter; they appear from August to October.
The plants occur on sandstone outcrops in and around the Olifants River Valley.

Pictures taken 23 Aug. 2016, just south of Clanwilliam.

Dracophilus dealbatus (syn. D. montis-draconis, D. proximus)

Plants of this species form small compact cushions to 5 cm tall and 16 cm in diameter, with leaves 2.5-4.5 cm long.
The honey-scented flowers open in late afternoon and stay open for most of the night. They are magenta or white, up to 3.5 cm in diameter and appear mainly in July-August.
The plants grow in gravelly plains and rock crevices from southern Namibia to northern Namaqualand. Rainfall in this area is on average less than 100 mm per year and occurs mainly in winter.

Mesembs of the world (1998) supplies the following snippet of information: “Dracophilus plants are not very popular but are nevertheless often seen in collections”.  In other words, many people do not really like them but still grow them. To me this seems to indicate that a lot of succulent growers are masochists, but maybe I’m just missing something here. I do however fully agree with another remark in the book : ”When well-grown, they can be very beautiful”.


Crassula hirtipes (C. hystrix)

Both the current and the old name refer to the white, bristle-like hairs covering leaves and branches in this species (hirtipes = with hairy stalks, hystrix = hedgehog).
The type plant was collected in the southern part of the distribution area, where some of the plants have almost hairless leaves. This probably explains the fact that the name hirtipes refers to the hairiness of the branches only. These branches are rather brittle and form tufts to 15 cm in diameter.
The leaves are lance- to egg-shaped, from round in cross-section to flat above and strongly convex below; they are 8-20 x 4-7 mm and usually as thick as wide.
The small tubular flowers are cream to yellow and appear from August to October.
Plants are found from Komaggas to near Vanrhynsdorp in habitats varying from gravelly slopes to loamy flats, often under rocks or bushes.