Impressive tuber

Raphionacme hirsutaRaphionacme hisruta a

When you come across Raphionacme hirsuta in the grasslands you would never imagine that this small succulent emanate from a large underground tuber. The attached photo (left), taken on the side of a road in Mountainlands, shows how the branches are dwarfed in comparison to the rootstock. The above ground part is approximately 70 mm across and tubers can grow to about 400 mm. With their violet to pink-purple clusters of flowers (right) these plants are sun loving and in bloom from late winter into summer. Commonly known as False gentian or Khadiwortel in Afrikaans, they are widespread in the north-eastern regions of South Africa and southern Mozambique

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