Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Bubbles, and tight buns

This is the time in the Northern Hemisphere that Conophytum make their flowering debut, however in the Southern Hemisphere this is not the case. On my trip to South Africa last year I photographed a few species of this genera which is near and dear to my heart. They are my favourite of the Mesemb family. All these Conophytum have something in common, they all grow in the presence of coriaceous lichen, which is a leathery lichen, either present in the quartzite patches or the rocks that the plants call home. The Xhosa pronounced ( Khosa) people of the Eastern Cape in South Africa use this lichen.  It is boiled, strained and taken internally to treat sexually transmitted infections. A paste made from the lichen is applied to septic sores and was used to treat snake bites in the 19th century.

Conophytum calculus growing on the quartzite of the Knersvlakte

Conophytum minutum

C. minutum with this solitary Dimorphotheca sinuata; it's lovely shadow from the sun cast against the shiny quartz. So delicate.

Conophytum uviforme nice colour form

C. minutum en masse

Conophytum pellucidum with striking intricate vein patterns. They appear as if they are pumping blood to the plant.

C. pellucidum habitat on an isolated mountain in Kamieskroon. These rocks are filled with coriaceous lichen.

Conophytum breve lovely pink slit where the flower pokes through. Kamieskroon

Conophytum obcordellum with its spectacular maroon markings present on each body, This is one of the most beautiful Conophytum. Gifberg


Conophytum minusculum- Gifberg