HYOBANCHE THINOPHILA:  A new species for Hermanus

We were delighted to discover at the recent Hermanus Wild Flower Festival that we had uncovered a new species for our Coastal Herbarium.

Most of us are familiar with the fairly common root parasite, Hyobanche sanguinea, or Katnaels, and we had assumed for many years that this was the only species which occurred in our area.  However, in addition to the usual bright red flower which we usually have on display at the Flower Festival, this year a second specimen was brought in by Dr Vic Hamilton-Atwell which differed somewhat from the usual.  This specimen was larger, had less curved corolla tubes and was pink instead of red.

Luckily botanical artist Linda de Wet was at her usual post in the marquee at the Show.  She spotted the specimen and was able to tell us that, having recently painted it, she had had it identified as a newly-described species Hyobanche thinophila.

This species is found along the coast from Yzerfontein to Stilbaai and is, in fact, the plant which appeared in the S A Wild Flower Guide No 5 (Hottentot’s Holland to Hermanus) under the name H. sanguinea.  Jose and I photographed the plant at Betty’s Bay and noted at the time that it looked a little different to the plants we knew from the Hermanus mountain, but had no idea that it would turn out 30 years later to be a new species!

Dr Andrea Wolfe of the Ohio State University spent a number of seasons in South Africa studying the genus Hyobanche, of which 7 species had previously been described.  She noted that several populations along the coast of the Western Cape did not match the descriptions of other named species and in particular were very different to H. sanguinea  She named this new species H thinophila, which means ‘sand-dune-loving’

Article and photos by Lee Burman

About roncorylus

He who wants the kernel must crack the nut
This entry was posted in Plants. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to HYOBANCHE THINOPHILA:  A new species for Hermanus

  1. sandy jenkin says:

    Excellent news, it is amazing what gems are discovered in the specimen display.
    Exploration continues!

  2. Dalene Worrall says:

    Hi Ronnie,

    A friend of mine found this plant where they live Eastern Cape. Have asked her to give me the exact location and report back, quiet similar dont you think?

    Dalene

  3. Dalene Worrall says:

    Hi Ronnie, me again,

    This is the reply from my friend Lynn re the plant

    Dalene Worrall

  4. Dalene Worrall says:

    Hi Ronnie, Hope this comes up for you re the plant in your previous post of HERBS

    Dalene

    On Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 11:10 AM, Dalene Worrall wrote:

    > Hi Ronnie, > > A friend of mine found this plant where they live Eastern Cape. Have asked > her to give me the exact location and report back, quiet similar dont you > think? > > Dalene >

  5. Geoffrey Andrew says:

    The etymology seems to be the following:
    Hyobanche thinophila G this, thinos, = a heap of sand on the beach; hence, the beach, shore, strand;
    philios, = loving, friendly, kind.
    [Geoffrey Andrew]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s