Tromotriche pedunculata subspecies pedunculata sounds like the name of a young prince born into the royal family in a far away country. Tracing the history of official plant naming is today like evolution itself. This plant’s family was first named Stapelia by Linnaeus in 1737 to honour Johannes Bodaeus á Stapel who first commented on the botanical writings of Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle. In 1796 Masson added 37 species to Stapelia’s original 12, whilst in 1809 Robert Brown split the genus into four. In 1812 Haworth rewrote the classification to add another 9 genera, two of which were Tromotriche and Tridentea. But only in 1995 did Bruyns move the plant in picture from Tridentea to Tromotriche!
White and Sloane who told this story in 1937 still called the plant Stapelia pedunculata. You find this plant growing naturally in Namaqualand and the Richtersveld. The stems may be erect or decumbent, up to 12 cm long, four-angled and slightly toothed. The star-shaped corolla is light olive-brown to greenish yellow. The outer corona lobes are three-toothed, typical of the genus (White & Sloane).