ECTYPUS Grenier & van Jaarsv., 2020

Type : Van Jaaarsveld 27904, from Skaaprivierspoort west of Steinkopf, steep to sheer south facing sandstone rock face in crevices, 15. Dec. 2017, Northern Cape, SA.


Distribution : Known only from three subpopulations in a mountainous region west of Steinkopf, the upper portion of the Skaaprivierspoort, confined to south-west facing slopes and cliffs.


Etymology : 'ectypus' means embossed, with relief, referring to the reticulated bulging veins of the leaves.





Tuberous, sparingly branched, summer deciduous succulent geophyte up to 10 cm high (excluding inflorescence).


Roots tuberou, tubers hypogeous, rarely rounded, usually squeezed in cliff rock cracks, 3.5 – 14 cm long, 2 – 4 cm in diam., covered with flaking greyish bark.


Branches short, up to 10 cm long, but most often no longer than 1.5 cm, 3 – 8 mm in diam., rarely branched.


Leaves softly succulent, 2 – 3 per branch, variable in shape, 3.5 – 12 x 2.8 – 7.5 cm, petiole short and indistinct, 1 – 1.5 cm long, channeled on the adaxial surface, blade broadly obovate to orbicular, base channeled and cuneate, gradually merging with petiole, epidermis covered in short (0.2 – 0.3 mm) translucent glandular hairs, adaxial surface flat to concave, green to dull green, sometimes purple margins, becoming orange to purplish at the end of the growing season, both leaf surfaces covered in thick veining, mostly adaxially, without distinct midrips, margin entire, apex obtuse to rounded.


Inflorescence a sparingly branched ascending thyrse 8 – 22 cm long, bearing 1 – 3 apical monochasia (each bearing 2 – 3 flowers); peduncle slender, wiry, erect, dark brown, with  4 – 13 spirally arranged bracts, 1 – 1.4 cm apart, sparingly covered in glandular trichomes.


Flowers : Pedicels green, slender 0.5 mm thick, 1 – 2 cm long; buds densely covered in glandular hairs; flowers ascending, calyx glandular pubescent, sepals triangular, elongate, 4.5 x 1.2 mm, corolla glandular pubescent, tube trumpet-shaped, slighly bulging at the base (4 mm wide), widening gradually to the apex to 4.5 mm, but ventricose below the lobes, petals 5 – 7 x 2 – 2.5 mm, adaxial surface whitish, with a dark pink stripe at center, abaxial surface white with a central pink stripe, margins and apices acute, apices recoiling during the day. 


Flowering time : Midsummer.


Note :

Tylecodon ectypus is geographically closest to T. atropurpureus.


Photos Yael Gayer

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