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Help with Bowiea volubilis look-alike, sort of, ID

Posted by Genepaul none (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 20, 11 at 14:18

Hello Bulbophiles,
I have acquired a plant I would like to have identified. It was field collected in SA and, in all general aspects, looks and grows very much like Bowiea volubilis except: 1) after years of growth, the largest bulbs are only about half the size of a golf ball and remain just barely exposed rather than on the surface like B. volubilis, and 2) the stem remains much smaller and much more highly divided (feathery, very showy) than B. volubilis. If it were a ssp. of B. volubilis, the ssp. epithet might be "nana" or "compacta", but these names are just conjecture. Does anyone have any idea of what this plant is? B. volubilis is listed as the only species of the genus with no recognized ssp. Does any have any information on ssp. - perhaps this is an undescribed ssp. or species? Is anyone growing any plant like this? I don't have any photos of this plant and if I took some this time of year, all you would see is the brown, shriveled tops of several dormant bulbs at soil (pot) level. It will be dormant for the next few months, so I guess that I will have to re-post with pictures later. When growing, it looks EXACTLY like a dwarf, highly branched climbing.

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RE: Help with Bowiea volubilis look-alike, sort of, ID

My copy of Bryan's Bulbs (pub. 2000) lists 4 species of Bowiea: gariepensis, intricata, kilimandscharica and volubilis. I don't know whether the other three are currently maintained as species, but of them kilimandscharica is said to be close to vulubilis, but with much smaller bulbs.

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