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DROMISCHUS CRISTATUS VAR. ZEYHERI (Harv.) Tölken
Section: 5 Longipedunculati

Also separated from A. cristatus var. cristatus are varieties clavifolius, mzimvubuensis and schonlandii.

DISTRIBUTION
The old type locality (TL) is Kenko River, interpreted as between Swellendam and Riversdale. In modern times, such plants have only been found much further east, from the Baviaanskloof in the Eastern Cape, growing on Table Mountain Group quartzitic sandstones.

An interesting new collection, EvJ17063 from Rock of Gibraltar, extends the distribution eastwards and may link with
var. mzimvubuensis . It has the stem and  leaf shape of var. zeyheri, but no vegatative glandular hairs.

CHARACTERS
This light-green form of A. cristatus is distinguished by its lack of aerial roots, and with glandular hairs on the leaves, inflorescences and flowers.

CULTIVATION
This was found in leaf litter in the shade of thicket vegetation on a steep slope (intergrading with the typical variety!).  Thus it is a vigorous grower, that does not mind shady conditions.

COMMENTS
Var. zeyheri needs to be linked with a modern, still existent locality. The type is Zeyher 2571 in K, S & SAM (which is currently viewable
on-line as a tiny thumbnail via Aluka). It does appear to be a good match when compared with modern Kougaberge collections by Ernst van Jaarsveld (but it is always difficult comparing dried and living specimens).

The catalogue "Enumeratio Plantarum Africae Australis" by Ecklon and Zeyher (1835 -7), only goes up to number 2490. Thus Zeyher must have collected this after 1833, when he parted company with Ecklon. From Gunn & Codd "Botanical Exploration of Southern Africa" (1981), Zeyher is known to have spent a lot of time collecting in the Eastern Cape. It is also clear that Zeyher never travelled as far east as the Groot Keirivier, nor further NE, so he could never have seen var. mzimvubuensis (and Tölken probably never saw var. mzimvubuensis material either).

Zeyher's handwriting looks difficult to read and with Ecklon, used a system of numbering localities. Thus there is room for a mis-understanding about where Zeyher 2571 was collected. Harvey originally published it in Flora Capensis as "At the Kinko River", but "Rocky places on the Kenko Rivier, east of the Buffeljachts Rivier" now appears on the SAM 36203! sheet. Recent searches by the author in this farmland area were unpromising. However, other Zeyher plants have apparently been successfully recollected from the Kinko River area in recent years.

Adromischus cristatus zeyheri
Var.
zeyheri, growing under thicket vegetation in detritus on steep slopes above the Kouga Dam. Photo: Chris Rodgerson.

Adromischus cristatus zeyheri
A
very attractive (EvJ11201?) form from the Kouga
Dam cliffs
, photographed by Ernst van Jaarsveld.

Adromischus cristatus zeyheri
Var.
zeyheri, EvJ7720 from Geelhoutboskloof in the Kougaberge.

Last Updated: Dec 2007
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© 2007 Derek Tribble, London, UK