A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Habitat, nursery/collection and show tours.
Post Reply
User avatar
ChrisR
BCSS Member
Posts: 1874
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: SHEFFIELD
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by ChrisR » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:50 pm

.....so not really a travelogue as such, but that sort of thing and as there are a few more photos than usual I thought it better here than in the general forum.

I've visited this beautiful part of South Africa multiple times as there is so much to see. The first photo is a view looking east across Bushmanland to illustrate some of the many "inselbergs" which seems to erupt from the surrounding veld.....which I assume they did millennia ago. The area can benefit from winter and summer rains which may account for how good some of the hills are for diversity of succulents. During the past 20 years or so I've looked over more than 20 of these hills (a few 2 or 3 times) and some have been good, some poor and some amazing. Geology especially here is critical to how rich a hill is, as although the majority are quartzitic, we've discovered that as far as succulents are concerned there is good and bad quartz. I only wish we could tell the difference when looking at Google Earth, but unfortunately they all look the same from that high up! It's only on the ground can one see that on a poor hill the quartz is subtlety duller and greyer so all that grows there is grass and a few unfussy succulents like the ubiquitous Conophytum lydiae......but find a hill with good quartz and a treat is invariably in store. The subject of this topic, Groot-Nooisabisberg, turned out to be in that category. It's an odd sounding name but nois or noois is a Nama word for which I can as yet find no translation.
GN.1a.JPG
In my recent Crassula thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=164330 I mentioned recently seeing Crassula mesembryanthemopsis. Being one of my all time favourite succulents it's always a thrill. The small population was on top of the hill in a sort or fine quartz grit but laying over granite or gneiss, which is quite unusal.
GN.1.JPG
They were all small plants mostly just covered by or peeking out from under the grit, with no large clusters to be seen.
GN.2.JPG
GN.3.JPG
Blow away the grit to expose the leaves. Then carefully sprinkle it back, of course.....
GN.4.JPG
Growing with them was Conophytum lydiae. As I mentioned above, this is on every hill in the area, even those formed from the greyer or duller quartz with no other succulents.
GN.5.JPG
Just over the flat top of the hill to the south side, we came across this gorgeous bulb. Being an admirer but no expert, I asked Terry Smale what they are...... quote, "It’s an Ornithogalum (or are they all Albuca now) but I couldn’t go further than that; they are certainly very beautiful".
GN.6.JPG
GN.7.JPG
A little further on and I noticed these Adromischus in a shady fissure. What's really interesting here (to me anyway) is that there are two species from two different sections in the genus, growing together. I've seen it before in Bushmanland, with Adromischus diabolicus (S3) and Adromischus schuldtianus (S2).....and here we have the latter (below) growing with Adromischus marianiae 'hallii' (S5 above).
GN.8.JPG
There were quite a lot of them, together and apart. This is A.schuldtianus.
GN.9.JPG
And this is A.marianiae 'hallii', one of the choice and sought after species for cultivation.
GN.10.JPG
Then.....further along this shady ridge......surprise, surprise - a third Adromischus species and another section (S3), A.nanus. Here growing with Crassula cooperi.
GN.11.JPG
Looking really turgid and healthy, there are tiny bulbs in there with them.
GN.12.JPG
GN.12.JPG (152.74 KiB) Viewed 2553 times
It got better.....even more interest further on......Crassula sp. and Avonia recurvata.
GN.13.JPG
Then at the south east end of the ridge we came upon Conophytum marginatum ssp. haramoepense, common across this region. This is really hugging the rock with a view! But how on earth does a seed get lodged, germinate and grow there, almost upside down?!
GN.14.JPG
GN.14.JPG (125.04 KiB) Viewed 2553 times
There were many large clusters in vertical cracks, here with a solitary Crassula sericea.
GN.15.JPG
GN.15.JPG (187.4 KiB) Viewed 2553 times
Gaping lobes with wider tips like this are transitional with Conophytum marginatum ssp. littlewoodii which occurs further east.
GN.16.JPG
GN.16.JPG (155.33 KiB) Viewed 2553 times
And finally, on quartz flats before getting back to the vehicles were Lithops marmorata and Avonia papyracea ssp. namaensis.
GN.17.JPG
GN.17.JPG (145.09 KiB) Viewed 2553 times
Hard to believe, but all these were seen in less then 3 hours. We only explored a tiny part of the hill, so one day we will definitely return to look further. Every aspect has something different so the western end of the hill might hold different treasures. Can't wait!
Chris Rodgerson- Sheffield UK

BCSS 27098

see http://www.conophytum.com for about 1250 pictures of Conophytum, 370 Adromischus and 430 Crassula in habitat & in cultivation.
User avatar
Stuart
BCSS Member
Posts: 719
Joined: 11 Jan 2007

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by Stuart » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:04 am

Its not easy to do an interesting travelogue these days, everyone seems to have been everywhere and there's lots of 'this is ...' close up plant mugshots these days.
This shows how it should be done, great photos and you 'get the feel' for the place.
Stuart
User avatar
Diane
BCSS Member
Posts: 4167
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Branch: KlNGSTON-on- THAMES
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Member

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by Diane » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:13 am

Such wonderful photos, Chris! Amazing diversity in an incredible area, thanks for sharing!
Diane - member of Kingston branch

Growing cacti - balm to the soul!
User avatar
juster
BCSS Member
Posts: 511
Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Branch: CROYDON
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Branch Show
Location: Surrey

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by juster » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:15 pm

Thanks Chris, I really enjoyed these pictures and, as Stuart says, you have captured the feel of the place. You did well even to find the mesembryanthemopsis, and the bulb is really beautiful.
Croydon Branch member, growing mainly cacti and Echeverias
User avatar
Tony R
Moderator
Posts: 2461
Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Branch: DARTFORD
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Branch Chair
Location: Hartley, LONGFIELD, Kent

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by Tony R » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:54 pm

An amazing locality, Chris, and stunning photographs and commentary. Thank you! (tu)
Tony Roberts
Chairman, BCSS Dartford Branch
Treasurer, Haworthia Society
Chairman, Tephrocactus Study Group
Moderator, BCSS Forum
Kent
(Gasteria, Mammillaria, small Opuntia, Cleistocactus and Sempervivum are my current special interests)
User avatar
ChrisR
BCSS Member
Posts: 1874
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: SHEFFIELD
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by ChrisR » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks for all the feedback. Makes it worth doing when one knows it's appreciated. :smile:
Chris Rodgerson- Sheffield UK

BCSS 27098

see http://www.conophytum.com for about 1250 pictures of Conophytum, 370 Adromischus and 430 Crassula in habitat & in cultivation.
User avatar
jpp13
BCSS Member
Posts: 183
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Branch: None
Country: France
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Marseille, France

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by jpp13 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:55 am

Thanks Chris for sharing (tu)
User avatar
Apicra
BCSS Member
Posts: 1230
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: HARROW
Country: UK
Role within the BCSS: Branch Chair
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by Apicra » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:47 am

Hi Chris,

Very enjoyable! A couple of Crassula comments:

Rather than C. exilis subsp. cooperi, that would be the closely related subsp. sedifolia in Bushmanland.

Just after with Anacampseros (Avonia) recurvata, that's C. garibina, nice and white in cult, but the stems are weak and flop over.

Best wishes,
Derek Tribble
User avatar
ChrisR
BCSS Member
Posts: 1874
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Branch: SHEFFIELD
Country: England
Role within the BCSS: Member
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

Re: A few hours on a Bushmanland hill.....

Post by ChrisR » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:47 am

Thanks Derek......I was hoping my lack of name for the grey Crassula would bring a response. See you Saturday.
Chris Rodgerson- Sheffield UK

BCSS 27098

see http://www.conophytum.com for about 1250 pictures of Conophytum, 370 Adromischus and 430 Crassula in habitat & in cultivation.
Post Reply