Huernia pillansii (part 1 of 2)

With its almost furry stems this species is easy to identify, even without flowers.
Only Stapelianthus pilosus from Madagascar is somewhat similar.
The stems are normally 1.5-6 cm long, but may reach as much as 18 cm; they usually have 10-16 spiral or vertical series of tubercles ending in long hairs. These hairs shade the stems and thereby reduce water loss.
The flowers have an unusual appearance too and appear in spring and summer (Dec.-May).
The plants are found sporadically on stony slopes and clayey flats from Montagu eastwards to Steytlerville in the Eastern Cape and in the Great Karoo from Matjiesfontein to Beaufort West. They occur mostly in the shade of low bushes.

huerpill_DSC0748

huerpill 2011-11-25_DSC7197

huerpill 2009-06-06_DSC2006

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