ISI 2009-24. Huernia reticulata (Masson) Haworth

One of the landmarks driving north on the N7 from Cape Town toward Namaqualand is the bridge over the Oliphant’s River. While there are no elephants to be seen, a quick search of the elephantine rock outcrops along the river reveals miniature gardens of Conophytum obcordellum nestled in the moss on the shady south sides of the rocks. Less frequently one encounters Huernia reticulata, a stapeliad that appears to be perfectly tolerant of the cool winter rains of this Mediterranean climate. The plant is difficult to find by virtue of its cryptic coloration of mottled dark green and burgundy. The flowers are also cryptically colored: deep dark maroon with a few lighter markings and dark clavate hairs. Rooted cuts of HBG 97467, J Trager (97-1), S Hammer and M Opel, a cutting collected 4 August 1997 from a rock outcrop on the banks of the Oliphants River, Western Cape, South Africa. $7.

Photo © 2009 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 81 (2), March - April, 2009