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Origin and Habitat: Ciskei to Transkei districts, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Altitude: 20–300 meters above sea level.
Habitat and ecology: Bergeranthus concavus grows at different altitudes restricted to very loose sandy soil on calcareous sandstone outcrops and in different vegetation types, in open spaces in grassland or under Acacia-trees, also near the sea. The annual rainfall is 544–814 mm with an average of 690 mm. In the grasslands the plants are easily kicked over by live-stock and eventually die. Over-stocking of communal farmland is thus a potential threat to this species.
- Bergeranthus concavus L. Bolus
Bergeranthus concavus L. Bolus
Notes Mesembryanthemum [H.M.L. Bolus] 3: 120. 1938 [24 Mar 1938]
Description: Bergeranthus concavus is a small tufted succulent with upright, succulent leaves ending in distinct awns. Flowers yellow. The speciﬁc name refers to the concavity of the ovary’s upper surface.
Habit: Single or caespitose forming loose or compact clumps up to 10 cm across. The species comprises several populations and shows a certain degree of variability.
Leaves: 8–10, pairs of equal length, blade curving outward, D-shaped in cross section, ending in distinct, long awns, (5-)11-27(-32) mm long, 3-5(-11) mm wide broadest in the middle, dark green and smooth, epidermis with cuticular folds.
Flowers: Yellow. Petals 61-83 linear-lanceolate to oblanceolate spreading yellow, tinged reddish below. Sepals broadly lanceolate, acute 9–15 mm long green with a semi-transparent winged margin. Filaments 176-203 (or more), in an erect column, inner ones without or with short papillae, nectary glands olive-green.
Blooming season: Flowers off and on over a long period during the summer and so far doesn't mind the heat. The flowers open approximately 16:00 PM, and close again by towards nightfall.
Fruits (Capsules): Closing body pyriform, reaching well below the covering membranes which bend upwards distally but lack a clear closing ledge there, diameter about 10 mm.
Seeds: Ovate in side view 0.90–1.1 × 0.7 mm.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Bergeranthus concavus group
- Bergeranthus concavus L. Bolus: has tufted succulent upright leaves ending in distinct awns. Distribution: Ciskei to Transkei districts, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 20–300 m asl.
- Bergeranthus katbergensis L. Bolus: has earlier fower-opening time (about noon) and a distinctive leaf epidermal wax layer of rounded sculptures con-nected by fine threads. Distribution: Eastern Cape, South Africa, 1100–1750 m asl.
- Bergeranthus leightoniae L. Bolus: has dark green, red-dish-tinged leaves often decumbent and V-shaped in cross section. Distribution: within10 km of the coast above 360 m.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Heidrun E.K. Hartmann “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Aizoaceae A-E” Springer, 2002
2) Gideon Smith u.a. "Mesembs of the World: Illustrated Guide to a Remarkable Succulent Group." Briza Publications, 1998
3) Haseltonia 11: 87-88 2005
4) Gordon D. Rowley “The illustrated encyclopedia of succulents” Crown Publishers, 01/Aug/1978
5) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey “The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors” Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug./2011
6) Ernst Van Jaarsveld, Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Gideon Smith “Succulents of South Africa: A Guide to the Regional Diversity” Tafelberg Publishers, Limited, 01/lug/2000
7) Hermann Jacobsen “Lexicon of Succulent Plants” Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. 1974
8) South African Association for the Advancement of Science., “South African Journal of Science” Volume 100, 2004
9) Dold, A.P., Hammer, S. & Barker, N.P. "Leaves of Grass: A taxonomic revision of the genus Bergeranthus Schwantes (Aizoaceae)." in: Haseltonia 11: 78-97. 2005
Cultivation and Propagation: Bergeranthus are easy and rewarding plants than can be grown in pots or in the rock-garden. They can be watered year-round, water regularly from spring to Autumn but reduce watering frequency in winter, growth period is early Spring to late Summer, but is a very adaptable species that can grows opportunistically whenever the water availability and growing condition are favourable. Keep them cool, and half-shaded in summer, need full sun or light shade on the other seasons. Potted rabieas look best in a heavy soil and the same is true for plants in a rockery. Requires good drainage.
Frost Tolerance: Very frost hardy and grows best where there are cold winters (it is reported to be hardy to at least -12° C if very dry). It is difficult to keep the leaves free of scars and dead leaf-tips, but the abundant flowers hide them.
Propagation: Cuttings or (rarely) seeds.
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