Monday, 24 March 2008

New images in gallery

I've added images from Wikimedia Commons of Ceiba pentandra, Grewia crenata, Grewia tenax, Heritiera littorialis and Talipariti tiliaceum. See recent changes.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Sterculia images

I've picked up a few public domain/GFLD/Creative Commons images from WikiMedia Commons for the Sterculia Gallery.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Another plant from Fullerton Arboretum. I'd place it as a cultivar of Hibicus rosa-sinensis, possibly (note the toothed petal apices) with some Hibiscus schizopetalus in its ancestry, but perhaps there's a Hibiscus expert that knows better.



Monday, 10 March 2008

Malviflora of Angola

When I collated data on the Malviflora of South Africa a while back I wasn't able to find much information of the flora of Angola. Since then I found a copy of W.P. Hiern's Catalog of Welwitsch's African Plants at Internet Archive. Over the weekend I've extracted the data from there, and integrated it into the Malviflora of South Africa pages.

This doubled the number of species in Angola per my records. While the list may well still be incomplete it is comparable in size with that for other South African countries, so it should at least be a reasonable representation of the diversity.

Google Search was used to evaluate the names used by Hiern for current validity. It turns out that Aluka has a considerable amount of data on the synonymies of African Plants (from the Floras of West Tropical and East Tropical Africa). It looks as if I'll have to dig into this someday and update my nomenclatural databases. The Flora of East Tropical Africa also has extralimital ranges, so I may be able to identify further Angolan species from there.

Sidalcea review

I've been round the garden and allotment to check which of my Sidalceas have survived the winter (though it's more a case of which weren't mortally injured by last summer's floods.

Most of the losses have been of forms of Sidalcea candida and Sidalcea oregana. I've lost completely 'Bianca', 'Rosanna', and 'Rosy Gem', and the majority of plants of 'Party Girl' and 'Purpetta' and lines of candida (ex Ness Botanic Gardens seed list) and oregana (ex RHS seed list). Apart from these, one speciment of 'Oberon' is looking unhappy, and my only specimen of 'Little Princess' is not yet showing any growth.

Plants which has survived include 'Elsie Heugh' (4 plants), 'Rosebud' (2), 'Mrs. Borrodaile' (4), 'Wine Red' (2), 'William Smith' (2), 'Rosaly, 'Sussex Beauty' (2), 'Candy Girl' (2) and an identified variety (mislabelled 'Elsie Heugh' when bought) (44).

Of 40 self-sown seedlings of 'Rosebud' which were transplanted to 13cm pots 39 survived; I also have another 25 in smaller pots. Due to the ill effects of last summer's flooding there was less seed production, but I can still see some seedlings coming up near the parent plants.

If also have seedlings of 'Brilliant' (self-down), 'Jimmy Whittet', 'Mrs. Borrodaile' and 'William Smith' from last year.

Dombeya macrantha

I've been asked to identify another plant, photographed at the Fullerton Arboretum in California.

It has a trimerous laciniate epicalyx, 5 narrow sepals with a stellate indumentum, 5 red petals spirally arranged in a cup-shaped corolla, pentadelphous stamens placed antepetalously, and a gynoecium somewhat obscured by the androecium. The foliage is hairy, and bronzed when young. Obviously not a mallow except in the broadest sense.

Once I had convinced myself it was a dombeyoid I cheated and looked in the collections database on the Fullerton Arboretum website, comparing the 5 species of Dombeya held (it clearly wasn't either of the other two dombeyoids - Pentapetes phoenicea and Trochetiopsis ebenus - held by the institution). It turns out to be Dombeya macrantha, known by the Germans as Madagaskar Linde.

The photographs are - foliage, side view of part open flower, oblique view of flower, front view of flower, young leaves, side view of opening flower

Saturday, 1 March 2008

March Comment Thread

For general comments and questions related to Malvaceae from anyone.