Spoonfigs (Erepsia species) of the CFR

Spoonfigs (Erepsia species) of the CFR

Spoonfigs (Erepsia species) of the CFR - Southern Africa : The mesemb genus Erepsia (Aizoaceae) comprises 30 species and is endemic to the Cape Floristic Region. The common name (spoonfig) is derived from the spoon-shaped petals of E. pillansii (previously Kensitia pillansii - see first image herewith) (but this

The mesemb genus Erepsia (Aizoaceae) comprises 30 species and is endemic to the Cape Floristic Region. The common name (spoonfig) is derived from the spoon-shaped petals of E. pillansii (previously Kensitia pillansii - see first image herewith) (but this is the only species with this feature). What sets Erepsia flowers apart from other vygies is the concealment of the reproductive structures by filamentous staminodes (see image 2), however, in 6 species this concealment is only partial. They are also called altydvygies, referring to another useful ID character for the genus: most species flowers stay open day and night. All species are fire ephemerals, and are best seen in the first few years after a fire. Growth forms range from robust shrublets to ~0.8m with fat sickle-shaped leaves to wiry or mat-forming shrublets <20cm tall, with thin linear leaves. NB features to photograph: flower from the top and side (showing whether its stalked or not, and whether the calyx is warty or not), leaves, branching pattern, whole plant (showing habitat) and capsules (please open it before photographing by sucking it for a few mins or immersing it in water). Half of the genus is Threatened, and one species is possibly extinct. The purpose of this project is to group all the observations of the genus and help with IDs. Please also refer to the iSpot Bayesian key for Erepsia as well as the species surfer: http://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/species-browser/Erepsia

26 Nov 2015
Stevo