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4. Variability - a warning when naming plants

To those people who may be hoping to name their cultivated Adromischus plants from the photographs on these pages, beware! Adro's are notoriously variable, both between populations and within a single population. The single photograph of each taxon in this web site cannot convey the full range of forms to be found. And it is often the extreme, unusual forms that are the most interesting to cultivate. It can be impossible to identify an Adromischus with more precision than to its section when habitat details are not known e.g. the notorious DT3660, given to me at Kirstenbosch.

In the veld, it is even more difficult to identify Adromischus, when they are out of flower and only boot-high! Like Tölken, I have great difficulty sorting A. liebenbergii from A. triflorus around Matjiesfontein - they have the same leaf shape. And I was completely fooled yet again on my last visit when at Areb in Bushmanland, into labelling a section 1 plant as A. nanus from section 3!

Another page describes the variation within A. marianiae.

Adromischus alstonii
Variability between six different populations of A. alstonii in 2 3/4" (7 cm.) pots.

Adromischus alstonii leaves
Variability within one population: all leaves from A. alstonii at Leeupoort, N. Concordia.

Variation between different clones of
A. marianiae "antidorcadum", BM485 = Hall 2451 collected 10 miles S. of Springbok in 1962, plants growing beneath small flakes of granite on typical "smooth" domes. Plants & photos: Bryan Makin.

Last Updated: Feb 2005
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© 2005 Derek Tribble, London, UK