An intermediate summer-winter rainfall area of South Africa sandwiched between the Langeberg mountains and the sea. It arguably includes portions of the Klein Karoo, but we exclude this area and extend the area east to Port Elizabeth and west to Swellendam.
- Southern Africa
From the Greek aspharagos, the name given to the edible Asparagus. A wide-spread genus which is greatly in need of revision. The root-system is an important character in the grouping, but owing to the inadequacy of the existing descriptions and the imperfection of the type specimens, correct identification is often very difficult. The flowering seasons seem to depend very largely on habitat. Some of the spiny species are called Wag-’n-bietjie.
From the Greek astro-, stellate; lobos, lobe.
Genus of caulescent succulent perennials indigenous to the Karoo regions of South Africa. Plants offset from the base to form clusters. Leaves hard succulent, sharp, keeled, mucronate and pentastichous. Flowers tubular. Six perianth lobes in relatively actinomorphic arrangement.
For Chiron, the good ‘civilised’ centaur of Greek mythology who studied medicine, astronomy, music and other arts. When he was accidentally shot, legend has it that Zeus, the god of sky and thunder, put him in the south at Alpha and Beta Centauri, pointers to the Southern Cross; referring to the plant’s medicinal properties.
From the Latin cernuus meaning ‘drooping’