Petalidium englerianum

I haven’t a clue how to convey the coolness of this species to you. Petalidium englerianum was the very first in the genus to capture me (and shortly thereafter, Petalidium lucens — see that page). I saw it in the herbarium. Its leaves were bright white and begging for sunglasses owing to a thick indumentum of stellate trichomes. The species absolutely decorates the roadsides all around (but mostly north of) Windhoek. Very abundant, very impressive, and very important ecologically.

Its flowers, like so many other species in the genus, vary from uni- to bi-colored (see photo: four lobes sherbet orange and the dorsalmost lobe lemon yellow).

Another photo shows what a typical roadside habitat dominated by this species looks like. (You are not a farmer anywhere around Windhoek without knowing this species. It is THAT abundant.)

Additional photo shows Kyle probing one of the corollas for nectar. We then stick the goo into a refractometer to measure % sugar. Gives a pretty good idea of how lucky or unlucky the pollinators are..

Wild collected, Namibia, Tripp & Dexter #778 & 791 [and on numerous other occasions] (RSA-POM); Photos by Erin Tripp

2 thoughts on “Petalidium englerianum

    • Hi Lynda,
      I’m not sure if it has a common name, although it should! I am also not a nutritionist, but over 4 field trips to Namibia, I definitely have seen game munch on it, so it must have some value?


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