Plant: Tumbleweed (Acrotome inflata)

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chirinda
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Plant: Tumbleweed (Acrotome inflata)

Unread post by chirinda »

I would also like to ask for help with the ID of this plant seen at Mapungubwe in June. The plants were widespread in the area, about 30 - 40cm high and the little pompoms seemed to have a succession of tiny white flowers down the pompoms during the season as the few flowers that were visible were right near the bottom. I think they are probably Lamiaceae but would appreciate help with specifics.

Thanks so much.

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hfglen
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Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by hfglen »

Chirinda -- I'd start looking somewhere near Amaranthus (same genus as the cultivated Love-lies-bleeding), but with no great confidence, as there are lots of wild species in the family Amaranthaceae, and they all look pretty much the same.
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Jakkalsbessie
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Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by Jakkalsbessie »

chirinda, your plant is Acrotome inflata (Tumbleweed or Tolbossie) and i have seen quite a number of them in Mapungubwe 8)
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chirinda
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Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by chirinda »

Thank you, Jakkalsbessie. I did fine Acrotome inflata in my flower book but didn't think it was that because the leaves in the drawing are different and the text says "A tall, slender ....." and these chaps were all very short. :hmz:

Appreciate your help. My botanizing is not up to much.
chirinda
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Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by chirinda »

hfglen, what's the difference between Leonotis ocymfolia and Leonotis dysophylla? I have what looks like the same plant as the picture, growing in my garden, and I've seen them all over the place, but in one of my books the ocymfolia pic shows the pompom not being so round at the bottom, as in flying cheetah's pic. I also wanted to confirm that mine are dysophylla, which one of my other books seems to indicate. The sunbirds love them. :D

BTW, I believe Gomphocarpus is now Asclepias. That's the name I know them by. Asclepias physocarpa.
hfglen
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Re: Plant ID needed

Unread post by hfglen »

Flora of Southern Africa gives Leonotis dysophylla as a synonym of L. ocymifolia, so if you follow that the answer is none. However Wayne Vos's Ph.D. thesis (which I don't have access to) gives L. dysophylla as a synonym of L. intermedia, with L. ocymifolia as a different species. I suspect the difference is in the leaf length, but can't check this from home.

Gomphocarpus has been separated from Asclepias these many years -- see Plants of Southern Africa (paper or SANBI website), Goyder & Nicholas in Kew Bulletin 56: 769-836 (2001), Nicholas's Ph.D. thesis and other sources.
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