reflexum (Andr.) Pers.
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Synopsis plantarum 2 (1806) 227.
Lamina palmately compound with three main pinnae, 2-7 cm long. The shape of pinnae is extremely variable, those of young leaves having only incised margins, while those of older leaves may be deeply incised, with segments laciniate, and acute apices. Indumentum: long appressed hairs interspersed with very short glandular hairs. Petiole spreading horizontally from the growing point and bending vertically in the middle.
Scape 15-40 mm long, branched, bearing 2-4 pseudo-umbellets with 2-4(-5) flowers each, peduncles 30-100 mm long.
5, lanceolate, apices acute, 5-10 x 1-3 mm, posterior erect, others recurved. Hypanthium 13-22 mm.
White, spathulate, posterior two with red markings, 10-18 x 2.2-4 mm, apices rounded to emarginate, length-width ratio smaller than 5.5, anterior three usually without markings, apices rounded, 9-16 x 1.5-3 mm.
5 fertile, posterior one 1-3 mm, lateral two 1.5-2.5 mm, anterior two 3.5-6 mm.
Top of the Bokkeveld escarpment towards the Oorlogskloof National Park, N Cape Province. An exceptional landscape, with many exceptional endemic species such as the delightful P. reflexum, quite abundant under shrubs.
Flowers of the miniature P. reflexum from the top photograph on this website are absolutely stunning. The pronounced obcordate shape of anterior petals seems to develop almost by chance - some petals are rounded, others incised.
Another extraordinary species, Anacampseros comptonii, enjoying its annual bath in the shallow sandy pools at the top of the escarpment.
The extreme variability of leaf shape of this species has lead to some confusion. It has long circulated European greenhouses under the false name P. oxaloides due to the resemblance of leaves to those of Oxalis. The seeds were obtainable from Craib's nursery as "Hoarea sp. nov. with Oxalis-like leaves".
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