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XANTHANTHA  Van Jaarsveld, 2017

Distribution : South Africa (Western Cape, near Stilbaai).

Description :

Much branched subscandent shrub, up to 1.5 m tall.

Roots fibrous.

Branches to 7 - 8 mm thick, grey-green due to a powdery bloom, lower branches to 15 mm thick, with smooth brownish bark becoming more woody with age, nodes 1 - 5 cm apart.

Leaves 70 - 95 x 28 - 46 mm, obovate to linear obovate, base cuneate, apex mucronate, dorsiventrally compressed, decussate, ascending-spreading, crowded at the ends of the branches, grey-green, sometimes with a reddish margin; petiole indistinct.

Inflorescence an ascending thyrse 20 - 55 cm long with 1 -3 dichasia, peduncle with two pairs of bracts, pedicels 18 - 30 mm long, slender.

Flowers : Sepals broadly triangular, 3 x 4 mm, adnate to the tube, green, corolla tube 18 - 20 mm long, slightly bulging in the middle, petals lanceolate, 15- x 6 mm, tips recoiled, filaments with a tuft of hairs where fused to the tube, anthers yellow, exposed for up to 5 mm, squamae 0.8 - 1 x 3 mm, emarginate.

Flowering time : November - December


Note :

Cotyledon xanthanta was first published as C. 'Stilbay' and considered to be a cultivar of C. orbiculata var. orbiculata (see Van Jaarsveld & Koutnik, Cotyledon and Tylecodon, 2004, p.36). In 2015 it was published as a species and called C. lutea, un invalid name, which is why in 2017 it was published with the new name C. xanthantha.

E. van Jaarsveld writes : The new species "differs from other Cotyledon species by its yellow flowers on long pedicels bearing transversely oblong emarginate squamae at 3 mm in diameter, these are the largest recorded for the genus Cotyledon"( Haseltonia 21: 92, 2015) - whether these minor differences justify the classification as a new species is somewhat doubtful.


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