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Origin and Habitat: Angola, Namibia.
Type locality: Angola, Luanda Distr.
Habitat and ecology: It grows in the arid desert coastal region and is generally found within 60 km of the sea. It grows mostly in sandy areas on low outcrops of rock among dunes. The seed are released from the fruit when they split open. As the tuft of hair (coma) dries out on the tip of the seed it unfolds into a parachute-like structure that carries the seed off in the slightest breeze. The wind distribution of the seeds probably explains the wide spatial distribution of plants in a community. After a time the coma detaches and if the seed lands in a suitable place it will germinate and establish a new plant.
- Tavaresia angolensis Welw.
Tavaresia angolensis Welw.
Bol. Ann. Cons. Ultramar. Lisb. 7: 79 1854
- Tavaresia angolensis Welw.
- Decabelone elegans Decne.
- Decabelone sieberi Pfersdorf ex Hook.f.
- Stapelia digitaliflora Pfersdorf ex Decne.
ENGLISH: Devil'sTrumpet, 安哥拉丽钟阁
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): Bergghaap, Katstert
KWANYAMA: Okukato lekadi, Olukato lendume
Description: Tavaresia angolensis is succulent perennials, glabrous in all parts with ribbed stems furnished with bristles that at first reminds one of a cactus. It branches basally and forms dense clusters 5 to100 cm across. T. angolensis produces characteristic long trumpet-shaped flowers that immediately distinguish this species from other known stapeliad. It is also very free flowering over a long peiod.
Similar species: T. angolensis is strictly related very similar to Tavaresia barklyi, both them have tubular flowers in which the outer corona has long threadlike lobes which end in knobs and are distinguished in that the former has 5-9 ribs on the stem and the latter 8-14.
Stems: 6-12 cm high and about 15mm in diameter, cylindrical, fleshy, leafless, 5- 6(rarely to 9) prominently ribbed. Ribs with conical tubercles 3-4 mm long. Dull grey-green, blue-green to dark brown. It is reported that when the stem is injured or crushed it emits a strange musty odour.
Leaves: Rudiments, ephemeral and quickly deciduous.
Spines: Each stem tubercles has 3-parted horizontally spreading bristly spines, lateral spines somewhat pointing upwards, conspicuously shorter than the central spine.
The a central spreading spine and two shorter lateral spines.
Inflorescences (cymes): Sessile, few-flowered with flowers opening one at a time in succession. Pedicels 6 mm long.
Flowers: Large and showy, tubular to trumpet-shaped, deep-throated, pale yellow and spotted with purple-red and range from 35–100 mm long and c. 25 mm in diameter, arising at the base of the stems. Sepals 7-8 mm long, lanceolate, acuminate. Corolla smooth (or minutely and sparsely scabrid-tuberculate) outside, densely papillate within, pale yellowish, spotted inside and out with purple red. Tube 4-7.5 cm long, 2.5-5 in diameter. Lobes 6-8 mm long, spreading, deltoid, acute. Outer corona 14-18 mm long, shortly tubular at the base, divided into 10 filiform segments, ending in pendulous pear-shaped orange-brown knobs, the other parts similar in colour to the corona of Tavaresia barklyi. Inner coronal-lobes about 1.5 mm long, linear-attenuate, incumbent on the backs of the anthers and scarcely longer than them, dorsally connected to the outer corona by short partitions, dark purple-brown. Pollinia obovoid 0.4 x 0.2 mm.
Blooming season: The plants bloom in midsummer (in habit November to April), usually after rains.
Fruits (follicles:) Coarse, fusiform, divergent at an angle of 30° glabrous. When the follicles are fully-matured they burst open to release the seeds, each of which has a tuft of hair.
Seeds: 4-6 mm long, 3-4 mm broad, ovate, plano-convex, glabrous, smooth, light brown, with a broad thick ondulated cork-like border.
Bibliography: Major references and further reading
1) Albers, Ulrich Meve “Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Asclepiadaceae, Volume 5” Springer, 2002
2) Schmelzer, G.H. & Gurib-Fakim, A. “Medicinal plants 2” PROTA, 2013
3) Edgar Lamb “The illustrated reference on cacti and other succulents” Blandford Press, 1978
4) Downs, P.E. 1999. Tavaresia angolensis. Asklepios 76: 11–12.
5) Hermann Jacobsen, Vera Higgins “Succulent Plants: Description, Cultivation and Uses of Succulent Plants, Other Than Cacti” Abbey Garden Press, 1946
6) N. E. Brown. “Flora Capensis” Vol 4, page 518 1909
7) Barkhuizen, B.P. 1978. “Succulents of South Africa.” Prunell, Cape Town.
8) Bruyns, P.V. “Stapeliads of southern Africa and Madagascar.” Vol. II. Umdaus Press, Hatfield. 2005
9) Court, D. 2000. "Succulent flora of southern Africa." A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
10) Hardy, D. & Fabian, A. "Succulents of the Transvaal." Southern Book Publishers, Halfway House. 1992
11) Van Koenen, E. "Medicinal, poisenous and edible plants in Namibia." Klaus Hess Publishers, Windhoek. 2001
Cultivation and Propagation: Tavaresias are mainly grown by plant collectors, lovers of succulents and enthusiasts who enjoy growing unorthodox looking plants. They comes from summer rainfall areas, and are intolerant of excess water, humidity and low winter temperatures and easily destroyed by moulds. Flower buds drop off easily in response to the slightest touch or unfavourable conditions.
Growth rate: It is comparatively quick growth for a stapeliad.
Soil. They grow well in light gritty soil with a very liberal drainage.
Watering: They should at all times sparingly watered (best rain water with some occasional fertilizer), and in winter time they hardly require any.
Exposure: They prefer light shade rather than full sun, although stems may not colour up under shady conditions.
Hardiness: A minimum winter temperature of 5-10°C is acceptable, providing that plants are kept absolutely dry. They require outdoor culture, or a warm close greenhouse, while growing in the early part of summer, and afterwards may be ripened and kept in a greenhouse.
Pest & diseases: Keep their roots free of mealy bugs, as fungal attack often occurs as a result of damage to stems by insects. A layer of grit on the surface of the compost prevents moisture from accumulating around the base of the stems and minimise the chance of fungal attack on the roots.
Traditional uses: Not much is known about other uses. This species is sporadically collected for food by local people, the stems are chewed, possibly for nourishment or to obtain fluids. First the outer skin of the stems is pealed and then it is chewed, in the same way as Hoodia is widely used. It has, however, not been established that Tavaresia acts as an appetite suppressant. It has been reported that the plant is crushed and externally applied to painful and aching parts of the body as a kind of dressing to alleviate pain.
Propagation: Plants are usually increased by cuttings, which, as they are very succulent, should be allowed to dry a week after they are taken off, when they may at once be put singly into pots. Grafting the Tavaresia on Stapelias is often useful, and can be recommended.
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