16 August 2014

Unusual plant on the Common

The Friends of Meadowridge Common noticed an unusual succulent plant growing on the Common recently - and Roger Graham, Chairman of the Friends, put it on iSpot to see what it could possibly be. Almost immediately botanist Nick Helme had the answer - Conicosia pugioniformis subsp. pugioniformis. It has a variety of common names including Clock Plant, Hat Fig, Snotwortel, Varkslaai and Varkwortel. According to succulent expert, Prix Burgoyne, the three subspecies of  C. pugioniformis can be distinguished by their distribution. Subsp. alborosea is from Namaqualand, subsp. muiri is from the southern Cape to about Hummansdorp and subsp.pugioniformis is from the Cape Peninsula northwards to about Vredendal. We are looking forward to seeing if it flowers this spring. This plant had been previously recorded by Fiona Watson in her comprehensive list of plants on Meadowridge Common.