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Origin and Habitat: Northern Cape, Western Cape, South Africa (apparently confined to the Richtersveld portion of the Gariep Centre).
Habitat and Ecology: Fynbos, Succulent Karoo. This species grows on granitic soils.
- Gethyllis britteniana Baker
Gethyllis britteniana Baker
J. Bot. 23: 227 (1885).
Gethyllis britteniana subs. bruynsii D.Müll.-Doblies
Willdenowia 15: 467 (1986)
Accepted name in llifle Database:
Gethyllis britteniana subs. herrei (L. Bolus) D.Müll.-Doblies
Willdenowia 15: 467 (1986)
AFRIKAANS (Afrikaans): Kukumakranka, Koekemekranka
Description: Gethyllis britteniana is a tiny deciduous geophyte (bulb) with a delicate appearance up to 20 cm high. It has erect spiralled leaves enclosed at the base in a spotted sheath. The flowers are white six-pointed star appearing curiously stalkless not more than a few cm above the ground. The fruit (a transparent berry) when first formed is underground and remains there for the several months required for ripening, after which it is pushed up to scent the surroundings. This fragrance is the most notable property of the fruit. The smell and taste of the fruit is like custard apple.
Bulb: Globose, 5-7.5 cm in diameter, with a thick spotted neck 2.5-4 cm long.
Leaves: 12–15, linear, grass like, glabrous, firm in texture, variously twisted, some-times coiled spirally, 19-15 cm long, 2-3 mm broad.
Flowers: Perianth pure white; tube stout, 5-7,5 cm long, its base hidden by the sheathing membranous bract; segments oblong-lanceolate, 5 cm long, 18 mm broad; stamens very numerous, arranged in 6 clusters; filament about as long as the anther.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) J. G. Baker, “Flora Capensis”, page 171, 1897
2) Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. “Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa”. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.
3) Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. “Red List of South African Plants”. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
4) Snijman, D.A. & Victor, J.E. 2004. Gethyllis britteniana Baker subsp. britteniana. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2018/11/18
5) Annelise le Roux, “Wild Flowers of Namaqualand: A Botanical Society guide”. Penguin Random House South Africa, 8 May 2015
6) Peter Goldblatt, “West Coast”, Botanical Society of South Africa, 1996
7) Conrad Lighton, “The kukumakranka”, in: Veld & Flora, December 1992, Web: http://pza.sanbi.org/sites/default/files/info_library/kukumakranka.pdf
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