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|Distribution:||Africa: South Africa: Western Cape:|
Astroloba Gintsuno has been filed under a cultivar name in Japan without proper reference to its origin. It was imported from South Africa more than 50 years ago without collection data. It is probably the largest growing Astroloba in existence. The Japanese plant measures 9 cm across.
A number of years ago Gerhard Marx discovered a large growing Astroloba in the vicinity of Prince Albert which seems to be the same species as the Japanese specimen. I shall use the cultivar name for now as no proper description has been done.
This Astroloba measures about 7 to 9 cm across in the wild, the same diameter as the Astroloba Gintsuno cultivar in Japan. The plants are found near Prince Albert and seem to connect to a smaller, but similar looking plant that is found a number of km to the west of the town. The area from Prince Albert westwards to Laingsburg is a very interesting area for the study of Astrolobas, as a number of species do occur in that area and also forms that may suggest links to other species.
Although a possible link may exist between this plant and Astroloba bullulata the two plants are notably different and a description for a new species is wanting.
The plants often have prominent tubercles that can be dark blackish-green or white.
The plants in the wild look, in typical Astroloba fashion, weather beaten and unkempt. In cultivation over many years however the leaves become more neatly arranged and the plants become attractive. It is possible that the Japanese specimen originates from a different location but mostly the plants appear to be similar to the ones near Prince Albert.
|A plant in cultivation in Japan - Photograph provided by Dr. M Hayashi.||A cultivated cutting. Originally from Gerhard Marx. A smooth form without prominent tubercles.||A plant in habitat. They mostly look ravaged in the wild.||A young plant in habitat.|
|Two cuttings from near Prince Albert. One with dark coloured tubercles - the other with white tubercles.||Astroloba gintsuno left compared with Astroloba bullulata on the right.|
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