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Author: John Manning
These natural history guides have been developed in the hope that young people and anyone with a budding interest in natural history will take up the challenge to learn the secrets of southern Africa's fascinating fauna and flora.
They are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance through superb photographs, maps and easy-to-read text. It comes in a handy pocket size and is easy-to-read - suitable for the beginner naturalist. Each species is photographed.
John Manning is a research botanist at the National Botanical Institute in Cape Town and is a world authority on the Iris and Hyacinth families. His diverse research interests include the evolution and pollination biology of South African plants.
Dr Manning has written or co-authored over 100 popular and scientific papers and is a regular contributor to diverse natural history magazines.
He has a particular interest in popularizing southern Africa's wild flowers and has become widely recognized as an illustrator and flower photographer. He is the author of nine southern African wild flower guides, many of them illustrated with his photographs. He is also co-author of Gladiolus in southern Africa (1998), Cape Plants: a conspectus of the Cape flora of South Africa (2000) and the Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs (2002).
Identification: Dwarf succulents up to 5 cm high, usually forming clumps. The leaves are reduced to a single pair that are joined together for most of their length, flattened on top and separated by a slit.
The body is cone-shaped, firm and highly succulent, and the tops of the leaves are beautifully mottled. The daisy-like flowers are produced from the gap between the leaves and are 20-25 mm in diameter. Numerous narrow petals are bright yellow. The numerous stamens are clustered in the centre. The fruits are five-sided.
Succulent type: Leaf succulent.
Where found: On gravelly patches along the coast of southern Namibia.
Flowering time: July to August.
Notes: Very difficult to detect in the wild when not in flower. Most of the plant body is buried and only the tops of the leaves protrude above the surface. Well-camouflaged by their mottled markings, which often match the colours of the surrounding pebbles. Each pair of leaves lasts only a single season, and the withered remains of the old leaves form a protective skin around the replacement pair, which burst out at the start of the next growing season. Stone-plants are widely cultivated by succulent specialists throughout the world.
Status: Local. Endemic.
Baboon's Toes 27U