Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bergeranthus multiceps

Permanently warm temperatures above 25°C is almost certain death for keeping mesembs. Surprise, surprise, one compact mat forming mesemb, purchased from the famous Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand, just flowered for me. I've seen the bud for a couple of days and am ready to shoot under gentle morning light. But the flower remains close and a few petals extending out not unlike a clam that has trapped a few petals! When i returned from work one early evening around 5 pm the flower is opened. The timing is unusual as most mesemb open their flowers in the morning. There are numerous yellow flowering mesembs in a family with 135 genera and about 1900 species.. it would be impossible to land on a identification. 

Well, there are 2 important clues: 
(1) it must come from the lowlands, summer rainfall area; being successful here on the equator 
(2) flower opens in the evening

Refering to my handy copy of Mesembs of the World by Gideon Smith, Briza Publisher (1998).  Bergeranthus flowers only in late afternoon and close before midnight and is restricted exclusively to the eastern cape near the coast between Port Elizabeth in the west and up to East London and Queenstown. Doing some websearch, the leaf shape and plant habit best matches B. multiceps.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Great detective work!!! Neat plant!!! Love it!