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18. Identification Quiz

Clue: in 2" (7 cm) pots.

Can you give Latin names to these fifteen Adromischus photos? It is not easy and requires experience. We start with plants in cultivation.

Use your mouse to highlight/select invisible text between the square brackets to see the answers.

[ A tall cylindrical leaved Adromischus is always A. filicaulis. This elegant form has a rough leaf-texture when stressed, from the area NE. Clanwilliam in the Cederberg. ]

[ My only clone of A. humilis always remains green in summer, but Bryan Makin achieved a wonderful red colour with this clone. Possibly, he grew it out in the open, not under glass. Unless flowers are observed, it is very difficult to distinguish this from A. fallax and even A. phillipsiae vegetatively. ]

[ A. schuldtianus subsp. juttae, CR1374 from near Klein Karas in Namibia, with a nice pink wavy margin. Note the tuberous rootstock - a characteristic of Section 2 species. Photo & plant: Chris Rodgerson. ]

[ With long cylindrical leaves, this looks like an unusually red sample of A. filicaulis, but did you notice the small horny margin near the tips of the leaves? These multiple clones are a superb form of A. marianiae "immaculatus", found by myself & Chris Rodgerson from near Doringbos, NE of Clanwilliam. Plants: Steven Hammer. ]

Scale: 2" (5 cm) & 3" (9 cm) pots.

[ This is probably the easiest plant to identify in the quiz. This A. marianiae "herrei" from W. of Maerpoort-se-berg illustrates ecotypic variation well! My parent plant on the left has been starved in a small pot, the younger but larger plant on the right, grown by Tom Russell, has been treated generously - note the increase in leaf size. ]

[   This pair of A. marianiae "immaculatus" (found W. of Lutzville in the Knersvlakte by Alan Hart & Ian Thwaites ) were previously my best match for habitat material of A. geyeri P.C. Hutchison, with unusually rounded leaf tips. It grows strongly in winter and needs generous waterings then. ]

Scale: Two 2" (5 cm) pots.

[ Very popular in cultivation, this heavily marked clone of A. marianiae "hallii" was introduced to UK cultivation by Bryan Makin and BM2075 has been formally named after him as a cultivar. Thus it's label should read A. marianiae 'Bryan Makin'. This was Bryan's own plant at a BCSS Zone 6 show in 1984 and was given to him as a leaf in Sept. 1981 from the Hester Malan Nature Reserve, with the locality data "Southern Richtersveld". ]

[ For many years, the exact origin of the previous 'Bryan Makin' cultivar was unknown, but a whole population of such lovely plants has now been found in the veld by Steven Hammer & Chris Barnhill near the Anenous Pass, W. Steinkopf. Here are four clones grown by Steve in San Diego. ]

Clue: Growing at Theekloof, S. Fraserburg.

Next, two more awkward photos from habitat to identify.

[ Small Section 1 plants with elongated stems from the W. edge of the Great Escarpment are plotted as A. filicaulis subsp. marlothii on the distribution maps, but could equally well be called a form of A. liebenbergii. This is one of the taxonomic puzzles still remaining. ]

[ In habitat, it is tempting to be a little foolish and try to identify an Adromischus with insufficient information! This did fool me - I had used it to illustrate A. inamoenus in this web site, but my notes show that DT4890 grew into one of those non-descript Section 4 A. maculatus/triflorus intermediates. ]

Clue: Growing SE of Willowmore.

Scale: 4" (12 cm) pot.

And finally four distinctive Adro's in cultivation to watch out for!

[ Yes, an Adromischus really can become this red in spring. Identifying it as a hybrid between A. hemisphaericus & A. marianiae is difficult unless your noticed it on the page about Hybrids. Plant: Tom Russell. ]

[ Once known, this distinctive form of A. cristatus with long thin petioles (leaf stalks) is easily recognisable. It was named as cultivar 'Indian Clubs' when distributed as ISI 92-25, in C&SJ (U.S) vol. 64, p.87 (1992). The characteristic root hairs on the stem are only just visible in this picture. Has anyone seen plants like this growing in the veld? ]

Scale: 2" (7 cm) pot.

Scale: 2" (6 cm) pot.

[ This handsome small Adromischus DT3660 from Section1 has caused me much trouble. It was a gift of leaves/cuttings from Ernst van Jaarsveld at Kirstenbosch in 1984. I recorded habitat data on a pocket tape recorder, but alas treated it as if it contained a three-sided tape, overwriting the information! Subsequently, I never could find matching plants at Kirstenbosch, nor have I seen similar plants in the veld. After giving material to nurserymen, it is widespread in UK cultivation, but will probably remain one of the many unidentified Adros in circulation. Plant: Tom Russell. ]

[ If only this wasn't a fraud! This extremely rough leaved A. marianiae "hallii" is the product of digital photographic enhancement. ]

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