These funny-coloured Drosanthemum flowers were produced by a plant in the Hester Malan Succulent Garden of the Goegap Nature Reserve, marked as Drosanthemum hispidum. The genus produces flowers of many colours excepting blue; so, call this purple. The unusual colouring may be related to vagaries of photographic reproduction and of flowers not yet properly open early in the day.
D. hispidum, commonly known as mouse dewfig or in the Namaqua local lingua of long ago t'nouroe (meaning unknown), is a strong-growing, sprawling shrub reaching 60 cm in height. The stems are notably hairy, tending to bend down and root again at nodes, forming clumps.
The species distribution is wide, from the Northern Cape to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and the Free State, as well as beyond the South African border towards the west.
The habitat is widespread in flats and lowlands, the plants growing in diverse vegetations (excluding fynbos) and in the variable soils of the semi-arid region. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Smith, et al, 1998; Herre, 1971; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org.za).
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