Caudiciform succulents of Richtersveld: Crassulaceae and Portulacaceae
From 5 to 9 September 2012
The Namaqualand region in South Africa, including the arid desert of Richtersveld, hosts a large number of succulent plants belonging to the families of Crassulaceae (Crassula), Portulacaceae (Avonia, Anacampseros) and Euphorbiaceae. You can also observe several caudiciform plants, that store the water into a bulk "caudex" at the base of the stem.
Photos of Tylecodon paniculatus. The Tylecodon paniculatus
is an oddly-shaped succulent having a caudiciform stem adapted to store large amounts of water reserves.
More pictures of Tylecodon paniculatus
. In the left picture, a juvenile Tylecodon
growing under the protection of another succulent. On the right picture, a close-up on the stem and its bark.
Tylecodon picture. The Tylecodon reticulatus
, called also Cotyledon reticulata
is a small succulent having an oddly shaped stem with leaves attached directly to it.
Tylecodon photo. In the picture above, a Tylecodon wallichii
A rare Pelargonium
that has adapted to the arid conditions of Namaqualand and the Richtersveld desert, developing a particularly succulent stem which acts as a water reservoir.
Sarcocaulon pictures. The Sarcocaulon
is a succulent belonging to the family of Geraniaceae
, which consists in a dense spiny bush.
This small stretch of quartz is the ideal place for some small succulents belonging to genus Avonia
(family of Portulacaceae
). The distribution of these plants is limited only to those stretches of quartz, which are not very numerous. These species are vulnerable because of their limited distribution area, moreover threatened by the mining and grazing.
Photos of Avonia albissima. The Avonia albissima
is a succulent plant having tiny stems protected by waxy white structures perfectly camouflaged among the pebbles of quartz. The Avonia albissima
is also sometimes classified as Anacampseros albissima
A Crassula locally known as lizard's tail (Crassula muscosa
, family of Crassulaceae
Anacampseros picture. The Anacampseros
are tiny succulent plants belonging to the family of Portulacaceae
, characterized by white filaments protecting the steam and the leaves. Endemic species of Namaqualand and in particular of the Richtersveld, include Anacampseros baeseckei
, Anacampseros filamentous
and Anacampseros crinita
Succulents pictures belonging to the family of Crassulaceae
. In South Africa, particularly in Namaqualand and in Richtersveld desert, there are many different species of Crassula
and other succulents belonging to the same family.
Picture of Crassula deceptor. A Crassula deceptor
growing near a Conophytum
More pictures of Crassula deceptor
growing protected by the shadow of rocks and other plants.
Pictures of Euphorbia virosa. The Euphorbia virosa
is native to South Africa and Namibia and is quite common in Namaqualand, particularly in the desert of Richtersveld. The plant belongs to the family of Euphorbiaceae
and contains a poisonous latex (from here the name "virosa" deriving from Latin) used by native people to poison the tips of arrows.
Picture of Euphorbia gorgonis
. The Euphorbia gorgonis
is a succulent plant belonging to the family of Euphorbiaceae
, equipped with a large caudex sometimes completely buried, sometimes emerging from soil, forming a stem of abnormal size. On the tip of the caudex there is crown of branches and flowers.
Picture of succulent belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae
. The seeds are contained in small capsules present at the apex of the branches.