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Xerophyta retinervis

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A plant I found in Swaziland - now called Eswatini.

A plant I found in Swaziland - now called Eswatini.

The flowers.

Author: John Gilbert Baker, 1875
Origin:  Botswana, Eswatini, South Africa
Soil:  Grit - Mix
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Maximum
Thickness:  20 Centimetres
Height:  180 Centimetres
Flower:  White - Mauve - Blue
Propagate:  Seeds
Names:  Black-Stick Lily
Synonyms:  Barbacenia retinervis, Burtt-Davy, 1912.
Vellozia clavata
, John Gilbert Baker, 1896.
Xerophyta clavata
, John Gilbert Baker, 1875.
Xerophyta retinervis var. multiramosa, Behnke.

This member of the Velloziaceae family was given this name by John Gilbert Baker in 1875. It is found in Botswana, South Africa and Eswatini, growing in a well drained soil or even grit with some water and lots of sun. The caudex can grow to 20 centimetres in diameter, the entire plant to 180 centimetres in height. The flowers are from white over mauve to blue.

I found these plants all over a steep mountain side in Swaziland (know called Eswatini), and they reminded me of grasstrees from Australia. Further more, they seems to be burned almost every summer. And then I found flowers on them, and that did help on finding a name.

The generic name is from the Greek xeros; 'arid', and phytos; 'plant' an allusion to its being drought-tolerant, while the specific name is Latin for 'vein network'.

Flowering plants by Rotational,