General Information   |   Species   |   Hybrids

FLORENTII  van Jaarsveld, 2016

Distribution : Known only from south facing reddish sandstone clliffs, growing in Central Richtersveld Mountain Shrubland of the Succulent Karoo Biome in the Kookrivier between Geigas and Eksteenfontein, at 500 - 600 m altitude.

Description :

Tuberous sparingly branched dwarf scandent summer deciduous succulents up to 18 cm in diameter.

Roots fibrous.

Tuber usually hypogeous*, rarely epigeous**, rounded, 35 - 50 mm in diameter, 20 - 40 mm high with flaking greyish bark.

Branches 4 mm in diameter, succulent, densely covered in short pointed and truncate greyish-brown phyllopodia up to 2 mm in length, petiole 10 - 15 mm, channeled, indistinct.

Leaves softly succulent (2 - 5 per branch), ascending spreading, 30 - 40 x 16 - 26 mm, blade broadly ovate to sub-rotund, base cuneate, epidermis covered in short (0.2 - 0.3 mm long) translucent glandular hairs, adaxial surface concave, green to dull green, abaxial surface flattened to convex, dull green and bearing a faint midrib, margin entire, apex obtuse to rounded, base cordate.

Inflorescence a sparingly branched ascending thyrse to  40 - 70 mm long, bearing 1 - 2 apical monochasia (each wit  2 - 4 flowers), lower down with spirally arranged bracts, 4 x 0.7 mm, peduncle reddish-brown, 1.7 mm in diameter at the base, glandular pubescent, pedicels 7 - 10 mm long, green.

Flowers  ascending  spreading, secund, calyx 2 - 3 mm long, glandular pubescent, greenish, sepals triangular elongate,  4.5 x 1 mm, corolla glandular pubescent, tube cylindrical, 10 x 4 mm, petals 5 - 7 x 2 - 2.5 mm, tips acute, adaxial surface white to light pink, lower surface white with a central maroon stripe, stamens 7 - 8 mm long, not protruding, anthers 1 mm long.

Flowering time : December.

*Hypogeous : germinating so that the cotyledons do not appear above the ground (and very often remain enclosed in the seed coat).

**Epigeous : germinating so that the cotyledons appear above the ground.


Note :

T. florentii belongs to the group of species with tuberous roots and extended phyllopodia, namely T. cordiformis, T. ellaphiae, T. bayeri, T. hirtifoliu, T. rubrovenosus, T. scandens, T. sulphureus and T. wallichii. It comes closest to T. elaphiae but vegetatively is also somewhat similar to T. bayeri.


First published in Bradleya 34: 237-240. 2016.

Florent Grenier writes : Three photos of Tylecodon florentii. One showing how plant stems get pendent as they get long enough. One showing a massive leaf over 10cm wide, and another one showing kidney-shaped leaves.

T. florentii is interesting in the sense that it's restricted to only a few hills in central Richtersveld and there is a large gap between this area and its two closest relatives T. ellaphiae and T. cordiformis.


Photos Florent Grenier, author of "Secrets of Namaqualand Succulents".

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