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APHYLLA   Schönland & Baker f., 1898

Synonym : Rhopalota aphylla  (Schönland & Baker f.) N.E.Brown (1931)

Section Helophytum

Distribution : SA (Western Cape, Northern Cape), Fynbos mountain tops, in shallow rock pockets.

Description (by Tölken, 1985) :

Annuals 6 - 30 mm high, with one larger erect club-shaped branch and then repeatledly branching.

Leaves apparently absent but in fact fused into a fleshy ring around upper part of each internode resulting in characteristic club-shaped segments, glabrous, green to brown.

Inflorescence with terminal flower, rarely a cymule in the axil of a leaf due to sympodial growth, with 4-merous flowers.

Flowers : Calyx a fleshy ring, ca 0.5 mm long with often indistinct obtuse lobes, corolla shallowly cup-shaped, scarcely fused at base, white often tinged pink or red, petals ovate-oblong, 1 - 2 mm long, usually obtuse, more or less recurved, stamens with yellow to brown anthers.

Flowering time : August - October.

In the northern parts of the distribution area the leaves are usually more discernable and the individual follicles contain two seeds.

Link to photos on iSpot.

W of Kosies :

Photos Mike Thewles

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