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Astroloba tenax - Prince Albert

So far it seems that Astroloba tenax only occurs in the Prince Albert area. The plant has only recently been described much to the work of Steven Molteno.

A plant that corresponded to Astroloba tenax was known in Japan for many years as Astroloba 'gintsuno', but the origin of the plant was unknown.

It was Gerhard Marx that rediscovered the large form near Prince Albert a number of years ago while I discovered the smaller form west of Prince Albert during an unrelated field trip.

Subsequent research soon lead to the realization that it must be a new species.

Two varieties are now recognized mainly because of their size. The two varieties seem to be geographically well separated.

 

 

Astroloba tenax var. tenax.

A smaller and more abundant form that occurs a couple of kilometers west of Prince Albert. The plants grow in shale or ferricrete pebbles.

tenax-var-tenax

Astroloba tenax var. tenax in habitat west of Prince Albert.

 

 

tenax-var-tenax-2

 

 

tenax-flowers

Flowers of A tenax var. tenax. The flowers of boths varieties are the same although the branching of the peduncles may differ.

 

 

Astroloba tenax var. moltenoi.

The largest Astroloba known that occurs near and east of Prince Albert. The plants occur on hillsides in shale.

tenax-moltenoi

Astroloba tenax var. molteno in habitat near Prince Albert. Named in hounour of Steven Molteno who has recently revised the genus.

 

 

gintsuno

Astroloba 'gintsuno' from a collection in Japan. Now Astroloba tenax var. moltenoi. Photograph Dr. M. Hayashi.

 

 

Both forms are still rare in cultivation and will only occasionally be sold Plant Auction.