Petalidium physaloides

Petalidium_physalioides

Everybody needs a compliment. For this plant, it is a stretch. Give me some flowers or at LEAST some fruits to work with.

We collected this as yet enigmatic plant in the depths of Van Zyl’s Pass… on the only day in my life that I have ever seen Kyle visibly nervous (yep, right before we decided that our Toyota could travel no further and, despite what all of the guidebooks say–that you cannot turn around in the middle of Van Zyl’s Pass once you initiate the traverse–Kyle and I used good judgement [for once] and spent the rest of the afternoon reconstructing the rocks that comprised the 4×4 track, by hand, and eventually made it out of the pass with success). This plant remains a huge mystery to us, but for now, we are calling it Petalidium physaloides. We aim to one day return to Van Zyl’s, more properly equipped, to figure this one out.

Wild collected, Namibia, Tripp & Dexter #844 (RSA-POM); Photo by Erin Tripp

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