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CELATUS  van Jaarsveld & Tribble, 2017

Distribution : Endemic to the Nowerus regin (just north-west of the Knersvlakte) in the northern part of the Western Cape Province.

Etymology : Named for its cryptic nature (Latin celatus = hidden, concealed).


Description :

Solitary, summer-deciduous, dwarf, singlestemmed, ascending plant up to 150 mm tall.

Roots fibrous.

Tuber oblong, up to 50 x 10 mm, radiating into 2 - 3 secondary tubers, pale grey-brown and somewhat flaking bark.

Stem slender, more or less 2 - 4 mm in diameter, eventually branching from the stem well above the tuber; bark longitudinally fissured but persistent exposing the grey-green photosynthetic epidermis underneath; phyllopodia hardly visible, the upper few nodes striated with black on grey when young.

 Leaves softly succulent 3 - 5, apically produced, ascending spreading; blade linear-lanceolate to linear-elliptic, subterete, 10 - 22 x 2 - 4 mm; petiole indistinct, the adaxial surface grooved, surface green reddish tipped, glabrous, becoming pustulate against a red background as leaf shrivels.

Inflorescence a branched thyrse up 50 - 60 mm long, bearing 1 - 5 monochasia, each with 1 - 2 flowers; peduncle brownish-green becoming grey, 30 - 40 mm long, glandular pubescent, persistent when dry; pedicels 4 - 10 mm long.

Bracts 3 - 5, linear, 2 - 3 x 0.5 mm, reddish-green, soon becoming yellowish and deciduous.

Calyx glandular pubescent, brown & green, lobes 3 x 1 mm.

Corolla ascending, glandular pubescent, tube narrowly-urceolate, 7 mm long, 3.5 mm at base narrowing to 2.5 mm at throat, cream sometimes greenish; lobes 2.5 x 1 mm, becoming recurved & laterally twisted, inner surface yellow sometimes greenish, glandular pubescent, also with longer multicellular hairs, apices acute.

Stamens up to 3 mm long, attached to side of the corolla; anthers 1.8 mm long, slightly protruding.

Flowering time : February.


It is related to T. suffultus and T. similis. It differs from the latter by having a more intense yellow flower colour, much longer calyx lobes, glandular trichomes on all surfaces of the inflorescence and flower, recurved twisted corolla lobes and different squamae.


First published in Bradleya 35/2017, pages 171-176.

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