Before the rainy season Duvalia caespitosa may be less green as in the photo. Commonly known in Afrikaans as a gortjie, a name that defies translation, the diminutive of an unknown entity. Gort is barley in Afrikaans; hard to see as a plausible explanation in that direction. There is a second Afrikaans vernacular name, toontjies (little toes), which is more comprehensible, marginally apt.
The large stem bulges, tipped with white scars in the centre of each tubercle, are neatly arranged in vertical ranks, slightly separating at the stem tip.
There are ten Duvalia species, two growing in the Little Karoo where this plant was seen. Duvalia forms part of the Apocynaceae or milkweed family (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; iSpot).