Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dorstenia horwoodii

Another one of the oldies in my collection. Had it probably almost close to 10 years.  I got it as Dorstenia horwoodii from AridLand East before Mike Massara went on to set up his own Out of Africa Plants nursery.  Many "summers" and "winters" pass with a new flush of silvery green leaves turning to autumnal golden before they shed.  The plant is monoecious; the stigma and stamens offset but a short period to avoid selfing.  Interestingly when the plant was younger, there numerous seed set were none viable.  For the last few years, they become viable with many true to parent-form seedlings despite having only 1 specimen or clone.

This species was collect by Frank Horwood in Somalia and hence the species name.  There are opinions now that it should be considered to one variation of the D. foetida species complex.  As a gardener and hobbyist, it is probably easier to remember a short name vs  D. foetida (syn D. horwoodii.. ).  Under tropical conditions subjected to similar cultivation treatment D. foetida grows as an annual or bi-annual while D. horwoodii remains strongly perennial.

1 comment:

Aiyana said...

I have a few Dorstenia foetida, and after a few years, they don't look like they've grown at all. Yours look to be a decent size. Actually, I'm surprised mine are still growing. I keep them in the house, and they have leaves year-round. I'm wondering if they need some period of dormancy.