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Iridaceae in sub-Saharan Africa
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Published In: Annals of the Bolus Herbarium 1: 20. 1914. (Ann. Bolus Herb.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/6/2016)
Acceptance : Accepted
Taxon Profile     (Last Modified On 6/15/2016)
Description: Plants 600–800(–1 200) mm high. Corm relatively small, 15–25 mm diam., persistent; tunics of coarse, wiry fibres. Stem stout, angled or narrowly winged below, many-branched, branches ascending, smooth or warty; stem bracts small, ovate to lanceolate, dry, brown and papery. Leaves 4 or 5, lowermost longest, linear or strap-like, 45–120 × 6–10 mm, suberect or trailing, twisted, leathery and sclerotic, closely veined with main vein obscure, remaining leaves cauline, progessively smaller, upper 2 or 3 entirely sheathing, dry and dark reddish brown. Inflorescence multibranched, terminal branches ascending, 1-flowered, smooth or warty; bracts broadly to transversely ovate, 5–8 mm long, acute or apiculate, leathery and green below or entirely dark brown with narrow, membranous margins, inner ± as long as outer and similar in texture, multinerved and clasping ovary, both mucilaginous on inner surfaces. Flowers suberect or slightly nodding, cup-shaped, bright orange, unscented, firm-textured; perianth tube funnel-shaped, 5–7 mm long; tepals suberect below then spreading, obovate, subequal or inner slightly broader, 20–30 × 7–15(–20), obtuse, weakly cupped. Filaments erect or curved outward above, 8–10 mm long; anthers 7–8 mm long, yellow. Style dividing opposite anthers, branches 3–3 mm long, forked at tips or divided up to 1/3. Capsules subglobose to obovoid, woody, 12–20 × 10–12 mm. Seeds ± 8 mm long, reddish brown. Flowering time: Oct.–Nov.
Country: South Africa
South African Province: Western Cape
Distribution and ecology: a local endemic of the southwesten coastal mountains of Western Cape from Kogelberg to the Klein River Mtns; on cooler south facing sandstone slopes and sandy flats, mostly 300–700 m but also at lower elevations near the coast, flowering only after fire.
Diagnosis: the evergreen habit with solitary, fibrotic, strap-like basal leaf and panicle-like inflorescence of thick-textured, radially symmetric, orange flowers are highly distinctive. The floral bracts are small and leathery and the style branches are divided up to one third their length. Preliminary observations suggest that the bright orange flowers are pollinated mainly by pollen-collecting bees but also by hopliine beetles.



Specimens whose coordinates are enclosed in square brackets [ ] have been mapped to a standard reference mark based on political units.
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