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Beautiful Desert Flowers - Walk in Africa
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Walk in Africa / Aizoacaea  / Beautiful Desert Flowers
2 Jun

Beautiful Desert Flowers

By the time you receive this newsletter I will be on a new adventure, about which you will receive news at a later date. However today I am thinking about the beautiful flowers which I saw earlier in the year in the Succulent Karoo.

The genus Polygala is a very large genus with wide distribution throughout the world. They are recognisable by their wing-like flowers with stamens and style protruding like a brush.

Polygala

This Karoo specimen was clearly recognisable as a Polygala, but because of its desert habitat it possesses thicker succulent leaves in which to store water. Also the sepals and petals are reduced in size in order to reduce moisture loss, but the stamens and anthers are very conspicuous, presumably to facilitate pollination by their pollinator(s).

These Tongue Leaf Plants (Genus Glottiphylum) were in flower and made the desert so beautiful.

Tongue leaf

Notice the fleshy “tongue-like” leaves which act as storage organs during the dry months.