Gilbert Westacott Reynolds (1895–1967) was the doyen of Aloe students from 1930 to 1966. The first bibliography of his work is provided. It lists a total of 122 publications on the genus, of which 8 are books, the major ones being The Aloes of South Africa (1950, with three later editions) and The Aloes of Tropical Africa and Madagascar (1966). He published 73 papers in the Journal of South African Botany in which species were revised and new ones described. He named 83 new species and 19 new varieties: these 102 names account for c.11% of new epithets published in Aloe since 1753, making him the most prolific publisher of such names of all time. It is emphasized that Reynolds aimed to illustrate his publications with high quality photos and a previously unpublished proof plate is included as an example of his work. He published a series of travelogues from which brief extracts with commentaries are included. Notes are also provided on some of his major collaborators for his studies in tropical Africa and on his commemorations and awards.
Dr. Franz Meyen (1804–1840), a physician and naturalist undertook a voyage around the world in the years 1830–1832 on board the Prussian vessel “Prinzess Louise”. Based on this journey he described
numerous plants including four species of cacti. These species along with a fifth described later by Louis Pfeiffer based on Meyen’s account are discussed and illustrated based on recent visits to the localities recorded by Meyen. Cereus fascicularis a name of uncertain application, although the type of the genus Weberbauerocereus and hence of significant nomenclatural importance, is dealt with and a theory as to its true identity proposed. A new combination
in the genus Cumulopuntia is also proposed based on the long overlooked name Pereskia glomerata.
The caterpillar of Leucaloa eugraphica (Walker, 1865) (Erebidae: Arctiinae), is for the first time recorded feeding on two Mexican century plants, Agave mitis Mart, and A. hiemiflora Gentry (Asparagaceae subfam. Agavoideae/Agavaceae), in South Africa. The polyphagous L. eugraphica is indigenous to South Africa. Although the insect has not been found feeding on agronomic species of agave, crop managers should monitor for its presence in commercial plantations.
An overview is provided of the contributions of Friedrich Welwitsch (1806–1872), to the development of horticulture in Portugal while he was stationed in this country (1839–1853), with special reference to succulent plants. Welwitsch is best known for his collecting and floristic work in Angola in south-tropical Africa, but he also significantly contributed to the enhancement of general gardening in Portugal, his adopted country. Some of the material he collected in Angola as living propagules made their way into cultivation in Portugal. Information is also provided on two forgotten Portuguese personalities commemorated in the names of two genera Welwitsch described: one, Bento António Alves, was a nurseryman, and the other, Joaquim Januário de Saldanha Machado, a succulent plant grower. The two little-known genus names are Alvesia Welw. (Leguminosae) and Machadoa Welw. ex Benth. & Hook. (Passifloraceae). Notes are provided on Welwitsch's interest in succulent plants in general.
The contributions made by Flávio Ferreira Pinto de Resende (1907–1967), who, for most of his career, was based at the University of Lisbon, in Lisbon, Portugal, to succulent plant research in the mid-1900s, especially in the Asphodelaceae subfam. Alooideae and Crassulaceae, are recorded and discussed. Biographical information on Resende is provided, as well as a bibliography of a large selection of his publications, especially on succulents. The nomenclatural novelties he described are tabulated with an indication of their current taxonomic status. Aloe striatula Haw. f. conimbricensis Resende, which dates from 1943, is typified and formally synonimised under Aloiampelos striatula var. caesia (Reynolds) Klopper & Gideon F.Sm. The nothospecies name Haworthiopsis ×coarctatoides Resende & Viveiros ex Gideon F.Sm. & Vasc.Silva is published.
The chorology of Aeonium sedifolium (Webb ex Bolle) Pitard & Proust is clarified. This species has never been found in San Jacobi, Gran Canaria, as reported by Pitard & Proust, who confused San Jacobi with Santiago and Gran Canaria with Tenerife. In the Appendix, the year of publication of Pitard & Proust’s Les Iles Canaries. Flore de l’archipel is shown to be 1908.
Aloe candelabrum A.Berger (Asphodelaceae: Alooideae), a stately, single-stemmed species from the KwaZulu-Natal province in eastern South Africa, which had been included in the synonymy of A. ferox Mill. for some years, is reinstated. The entire distribution range of A. candelabrum falls within the Maputoland-Pondoland Region of Endemism on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. In contrast, Aloe ferox occurs widely in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, the southern Free State province, as well as southern Lesotho. It does not occur in KwaZulu-Natal.
Chortolirion angolense has, in the past, been studied largely from herbarium sheets and limited fieldwork. In recent times it has become obvious that an extensive field-based study was required to account for the different forms/species seen in spring, summer or autumn. These forms/species characterize different Chortolirion populations and they also have distinctive autecologies, as well as showing morphological differences (Craib et al., 2004; Fritz, 2005). Of 16 accessions, genome size (nuclear DNA content) was measured using the fluorescent dye propidium iodide. The common spring-flowering form, C. angolense (Baker) A. Berger from Angola and South Africa, with a nuclear DNA content of 27.2 pg (1 picogram = 10(-12) gram), was clearly different from the very rare summer-flowering form, newly described here as C. latifolium Zonn. & Fritz spec. nov., from the Free State, with 30.6 pg. The rare autumn-flowering form C. tenuifolium (Engler) A. Berger, had the same amount of nuclear DNA (27.2 pg) as the spring-flowering form. Morphological dissimilarity was in this case not accompanied with a divergence in genome size. When all these factors were taken into account, it became clear that Chortalirion is best circumscribed as a genus with at least three species.
South Africa hosts the largest cactus pear germplasm bank in Africa. However, since cactus pear undergoes significant genotype x environment (G x E) interaction, characterisation based on agronomic and morphological traits in a country such as South Africa is complicated by its wide agro-ecological regions. However, the effects of G x E interaction on characterisation can be circumvented by the use of molecular markers. Therefore, AFLP markers were used to estimate the genetic diversity among 38 cactus pear cultivars from the South African genebank. The number of polymorphic fragments between different accessions varied with the use of different AFLP-primer combinations, suggesting that sufficient detectable genetic differences exist within the germplasm for the use of AFLP markers for genetic diversity assessment, cultivar identification and parental selection. A large number of markers had polymorphic information content (PIC) values between 0.3-0.5, indicative of good discriminatory ability. The majority of the cultivars grouped into two main clusters. The commonly grown cultivars were dispersed amongst the different clusters, with the greatest percentage falling in clusters i and sub-cluster iib. Culitvars that originated from Botswana (R1251, R1259, and R1260) clustered together, whilst those from Israel (Sharsheret', 'Ofer', and 'Messina') were dispersed within cluster ii. Ten genotype specific fragments (GSF) were generated from six primer combinations (E-AGG + M-CAT, E-ACT + M-CAG, E-ACT + M-CAT, E-ACA + M-CAT, E-ACA + M-CTT, and E-ACA + M-CAG). These GSF should be tested further, since they will allow varietal identification if proven to be repeatable. The genetic similarity values indicated in this study will provide breeders with information useful for selecting diverse parents with desired traits for their crosses.
The confusion of names and species boundaries in and between the genera Acrodon and Brianhuntleya, resembling a Gordion knot, is analysed on the base of new collections, images from habitat and cultivation, and many new investigations into the character sets of most features. The genera are newly delimited against each other mainly based on characters of fruit morphology and features of the leaves. The species are attributed accordingly and differences between them have been found in flowers and growth forms.
Aspects of the floristics and phytogeography of species of Kalanchoe Adans. (Crassulaceae subfam. Kalanchooideae) in the Waterberg, Limpopo province, northern South Africa, are discussed. In 2001 the Waterberg, which covers an area of 654,033ha (1,616,150.74 acres), was recognised as a Biosphere Reserve. It is shown that after eastern southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, eastern Limpopo, South Africa; Eswatini (formerly) Swaziland; southern Mozambique), the Waterberg has the most diverse Kalanchoe flora in southern Africa. A floristic synopsis of, and an identification key to, the kalanchoes of the Waterberg is presented. All the species are described and illustrated.
Tinospora fragosa is a succulent stemmed winter deciduous twiner from the dry savannah region of southern Africa. As found in most other Tinospora species when the plant becomes detached from the soil, it has the ability to grow a survival root (life line) during the growing season, re-establishing the plant. One of three South African species, it is at once distinguished by distinctly succulent branches up to 3-5cm in diameter with shortened lateral branches from which the abbreviated inflorescences appears. The others, T. caffra (Miers) Troupin and T. tenera Miers have much thinner stems, knobbly in T. caffra and striate in T. tenera. Both these species are confined to higher rainfall regions in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
Lithops polymorphism appears to be an unexplained phenomenon rather than a well understood one. The author's interest in it arises from its possible link with the putative cryptic function of Lithops leaves' ornamentation, i.e. as a trait subjected to specific evolutionary pressures. He took into account the internal variation of some Lithops species (for example L.julii and L. karasmontana), particularly at population level, as it seems to be a trait that cannot be explained merely as a byproduct of natural genetic variation, nor by means of basic mechanisms of al-lopatric speciation. Conversely, He suggests it requires a more specific and dedicated explanation, possibly in the context of co-evolution between lithops plants and the perceptive systems of their predators.