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 Post subject: Plant: Bobbejaangif (Adenia glauca)
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:04 pm 
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I found this strange vine near Marakele National Park in Limpopo Province - I don't even know where to start in trying to find out what it is. Does anybody recognize it?
thanks--ted

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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:31 pm 
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That is the Adenia glauca.

It is an interesting plant making a wonderful addition to your garden. It is a climber and has nice yellow flowers, along with the thick shiny green bulbous base, that can become huge. It also makes interesting fruits, earning it the English name Wild granadilla.

However please do take heed of the Afrikaans name "Bobbejaangif" (Baboon poison). This common name, shared with other Adenia species, gives a true indication of the character of this species. It is extremely poisonous, and can be fatal to humans should it be consumed. It has been used as a fish poison, as well as in suicide and murder. It causes nausea, fits and liver and kidney damage. It is restricted to the Northern Parts of SA, but is found up to Somalia. Often found in rocky places, where these bulbous stems can be seen wedged between rocks.

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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:50 pm 
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Thank you so much for the ID, and especially for the additional information.

I love this site!

regards--ted


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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:35 am 
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:D :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:40 am 
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If I might ask an additional question, is it normal to see this species forming a tall vine such as this one? Most of the pictures I've since found of this species show a short bushy structure. Perhaps because those are young specimens cultivated in pots, while this is an old (assuming from the very large base), native specimen? Thanks very much!

regards--ted


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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:50 am 
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It depends on where it grows. In rocky areas it tend to remain small with short vines. The ones I have in my garden sheds its leaves in winter and then much of the vine dies back.

But I have seen specimen in shaded areas, such as the one you took the photo of, that grows high in to the canopy in search of light. I have in fact seen one, of which the "tuber" part is at least 5 / 6 times the size I estimate this one on the photo to be. Interestingly the tuber is often not as round as this one, but adapts to its environment, growing in to cracks etc.

BTW I like your website. May I give the answers on the plant quiz? :twisted: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Thanks again for the additional info.

Yes, feel free to give the answers to my "botany quiz". I'm preparing a post that will come out later today with the answers and additional info about each of the species - it will be nice to have a "winner" to announce. Your comment will be held in moderation until then, so don't be confused if your comment doesn't appear when you first submit it.

Thanks again!

regards--ted


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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:31 pm 
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Postscript - what about Adenia fruticosa? I just received a message from a botanist at Missouri Botanical Garden, who sent the photos to some colleagues. Their consensus was Adenia fruticosa - anything in these photos that can be used to distinguish the two?
thanks--ted


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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:11 am 
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:hmz:

I think that it would be nearly impossible to make a definitive identification on the photos available.

A photo of the leaves would help, since the leave structure differ. Another sure way would be to see the flowers. Glauca has yellow flowers whilst fruticosa has green flowers.

I am not sure of fruticosas distribution either. It is found in Zimbabwe, not sure about it occurring in South Africa? Maybe someone can give us that information?

The area where you took the photo is known to be part of the glauca range.

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 Post subject: Re: Strange vine - ID?
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:19 am 
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I found some information in this article on the University of California, Berkely Botanical Garden website - maybe this excerpt helps:
Quote:
The southern African A. fruticosa has a tall, spindle-shaped caudex topped with a few thin, sparsely-leafed, arching branches; it shares its shape with several much rarer species such as A. firingalavensis from Madagascar. In other species, such as the southern African A. glauca and A. spinosa, as well as the uncommon, jet-blacked spined Somalian A. aculeata, the caudex is roughly globose, narrowing suddenly or tapering more gradually and producing a small number of thin, elongated branches. The succulent bases of these Adenia can become quite large...
This description seems to favor A. glauca over A. fruticosa.

best regards--ted


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