This rare endemic species from the Little Karoo is instantly recognisable with its globular pale green stems and exquisitely small flowers. The plant shown is from the Baviaanskrans area.
Found in the Eastern Cape, the colourful flowers are relatively large for the South African species of the genera, at 2-3.5 cm in diameter. The plant pictured is from the area around Hankey.
Shrubby woodland areas of subtropical summer rainfall areas are the home to this variable species, which can be found over the wide distribution of Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As can be seen from the plants pictured, this wide distribution area gives rise to a variation in flower colour and form, which originally resulted in various varieties being published. These have recently all been put back into the single species - Duvalia polita. Because of its habitat this species forms numerous subterranean stems with which to combat the effects of bush fires.
From the Southern Namibia and the Namaqualand area of the Northern Cape, this species in endemic to semiarid regions north of the Olifants River which receive only winter rainfall. It closely related to Duvalia caespitosa, from which it is distinguishable by its pubescent corolla surface from which it is named.
The two plants shown were both received with collection details / numbers so it would seem doubtful that they are hybrids, but as yet I have been unable to place them in any particular species.
From North Yemen and Saudi Arabia, in Section Arabica this species differs from Duvalia sulcata ssp sulcata as the name suggests in being less hairy, having no hairs around the annulus. There is also a third subspecies, Duvalia sulcata ssp somalensis.
With its unique pyramidal flowers and extremely long pedicel, up to 7cm, this species is instantly recognisable. Also from North Yemen and Saudi Arabia and in Section Arabica, the species has a distribution in the coastal plain of the western peninsula which is hot and humid. In cultivation these latter two species should be given extra warmth in winter.
Named for its similarity to the genus Duvalia, this monotypic genus consists of the single species, Duvaliandra dioscoridis from the Island of Socotra. The flowers are similar to those of Duvalia but are considerably larger being 4- 5cm in diameter.