Notices for Users of the Albums

1. New Albums and some changes


The latest genera Albums added to the Operation Wildflower Site are the ones on Colophospermum, Brunia and Quaqua. This means that photos and stories of plants belonging to these genera already on the Site have been moved from the more general Albums called Trees, Shrubs and Succulents into their own new Albums under Genera. 


There is a genus Album in every case where enough material has been accumulated to warrant a stand-alone grouping of photos and stories. There are now more than 170 such Albums on genera of South African plants. The biggest ones (most photos) belong to the genera Crassula, Euphorbia, Pelargonium and Aloe. Keep watching, more will be added! If there is no genus Album yet on the plant you are looking for, check under Types or the Search Box.


In order to access all items on a plant of interest, the Search Box should be used, entering the botanical name of the plant. Most photos and stories on a particular plant are likely to be posted under Genera, (or if there are only few of them, in the conglomerate categories under Types). Habitat, Regions or Parks and Gardens may also contain some material on a species searched for, showing in the list generated when using the Search Box. The latest Regions Album is the one on the Limpopo Valley and the latest Parks and Gardens Album is on the Mapungubwe National Park.


2. Want to talk about an Album Item?


There is a new way of communicating with the Editor of this Site regarding any of the Album Items.
Comments, questions, corrections, information and suggestions can be put to the Editor by using the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Please ensure that the Album Item concerned is clearly identified. Type its exact title as well as the Album Name in the Subject Line of your email. Please also state your name.


Similarly, communication regarding the functioning or technical aspects of the Site can be directed to the Webmaster at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Xerophyta retinervis

Botanical Name

Xerophyta retinervis, formerly Vellozia retinervis

Other names

Bobbejaanstert (Afrikaans); Monkey's tail




Fibrous perennial usually around 0,6m, but can exceed double that height in favourable conditions

Description of stem

Dark grey to black tufted, usually branched, dark stumpy appearance a conspicuous feature

Description of leaves

Long light green,narrow, lanceolate leaves inclusters spread over the dark stem

Description of flowers

Attractive large mauve flowers appearing irregularly

Description of seed/fruit


Description of roots






Propagation and cultivation





Stems have been used as scrubbing brushes

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases





Grassland, often in poor veld, surviving in harsh conditions, on rocky slopes

Distribution (SA provinces)

Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga


South Africa


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