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Mesembs | Images & Info | Conophytum | Images & Info | Conophytum bilobum

Conophytum bilobum, (Marloth) N.E . Br. BILOBA GROUP


conophytum_bilobum_ex_kirstenbosch.JPG (33068 bytes)Locality:  ex Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Distribution:  Northern Cape, found from Wallekraal in the Sandveld to Swartpoort near the Orange River.

Description:  The robust plants are caespitose, stemless or short stems develop with time.  The bodies (10-70mm length of base to apex x 10-30 mm across apex, transverse to fissure x 10-20 mm across apex, along fissure) are cuneate-oblong, laterally compressed to subcylindrical. The leaf-tips (lobes) are free and are 3-10mm long and triangular in shape and keeled, the keel margins are green to red or deep purple in colour.  The epidermis is glabrous to velvety or quite asperulous, it is whitish-green to glaucous to deep blue green or brownish pink in colour.  Epidermis could be heavily spotted or completey smooth.   The fissure is ciliate and may be gaping, the fissure is often surrounded by a windowed band (hardly ever blistered or inflated) which extends down the flanks of the body.

Flower:  The scentless flowers (largest of the genus) are autumnal (rarely estival) and diurnal. The herbaceous calyx-tube is 3-10 mm long with 4-7 sepals (6mm long x 3mm wide).  24-60 yellow petals are present in 2-4 series, they are 25mm long and 3mm wide (often tinged red at the tips).  The stamens are numerous (4-15mm long), filaments are green to yellow and the deep yellow anthers are 2mm long.  The style is 1-8mm long and the stigmas are 5-8mm long.  The persistent woody capsules are 5-8 locular, 6x6mm in size, deep brown to maroon or blackish in colour.  Seeds numerous.

Point of interest:  These plants are named for the distinctive two lobed bodies.

Photographer: Etwin Aslander


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