In two succulent houses hundreds of species of succulents are arranged taxonomically and/or geographically. Indigenous families and genera that are well represented include the following:
Mesembryanthemaceae – Argyroderma, Cocophytum, Cheiridopsis, Gibbaeum, Glottiphyllum, Lithops and Mitrophyllum
Euphorbiaceae – Euphorbia
Asclepiadaceae – Caralluma and Stapelia
Asphodelaceae – Haworthia
Asteraceae – Othonna
Geraniaceae – Pelargonium
Portulacaceae – Anacam-seros
Crassulaceae – Adromischus, Cotyledon and Crassula
There are also various examples of exotic families such as the Cactaceae. The valuable Madagascar collection was donated by Professor Rauh from Heidelberg , Germany , and planted under his supervision in 1961. Didierea and Alluaudia belong to the Didiereaceae, a family endemic to Madagascar. The strange creeper Xerosicyos danguyi is a member of the pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae). Pachypodium lameri (Apocynaceae) is related to the elephant’s trunk of our north-western parts.
A most interesting species in the second greenhouse is the Welwitschia mirabilis of Namibia . The female and male plants are separate entities. In 1926 Dr Hans Herre propagated these plants from seed for the first time. They only flowered 23 years later.
The plants in this greenhouse are arranged geographically:
Richtersveld and Namaqualand – Ceraria namaquensis (portulacaceae), Euphorbia dregeana, Aloe dichotoma (quiver tree) and related species, A. pillansii and A. ramosissima, Pachypodium namaquanum (elephant’s trunk) whose crown always points north, rare vygies such as Herreanthus meyeri (named after Hans Herre), Meyerophytum meyeri and Fenestraria aurantiaca (with windows on the tips of the leaves) and Dioscorea elephantipes (elephant’s foot) with its rough, bulbous stem containing cortisone.
Knersvlakte – collection of Argyroderma (fleshy vygies) built up with the aid of Dr Heidrun Hartmann from Hamburg. Lowveld – the lovely Adenium obesa (impala lily).