Two interesting Euphorbias from the southern Great Karoo. Part 2: The start of a hybrid swarm?

Because this area harbours a variety of interesting succulents, we had high expectations of what we might come across. Nevertheless, the rest of the trip was rather boring. That is, till the moment George pointed out a big clump of what we both thought was Euphorbia stellispina, in a field next to the road. Finding that species in itself, would have been nice enough, but when we walked up to the plant, we discovered that it was much more special: about all the plant’s features were perfectly in between those of E. stellispina and E. heptagona.  The result was spectacular.

euphstelXenopla 2013-02-24 DSC8447res

euphstelXenopla 2013-02-24 DSC8446res
Two pictures of the purported hybrid

When we searched the immediate surroundings, we found plants of both these species, which strengthened the idea that our plant was a hybrid between the two.

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E. stellispina

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E. heptagona

To make the find even more exciting, after some looking around we came across another hybrid between the same parents.

euphstelXenopla 2013-02-24 DSC8448res(001)
More interesting than beautiful

Here the results of the mix are totally different and far less appealing. On the other hand it is exciting to witness what may be the beginning of a hybrid swarm and it would be interesting to follow the population’s behaviour over some time.

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