Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Hermannia modesta (Ehrenb.) Mast.

Hermannia modesta

Reddish stems

Family: Sterculiaceae
Full name: Hermannia modesta (Ehrenb.) Mast.
Location: Kyffhäuser (2416AD + 2416CB)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Feëtjieliggie
English common name(s): Common hermannia, Fairy lights
Synonym(s): Trichanthera modesta Ehrenb. (1829)
Hermannia arabica Hochst. & Steud. ex Fisch.
Hermannia filipes Harv. (1860)
Hermannia holubii Burtt Davy (1926)
Hermannia lugardii N.E. Br. (1909)
Status: Native
Description: Red (to orange, pink, purple) flowers

Slender, erect annual herb, up to 60 cm. Stems and branches with short glandular and longer simple hairs. Leaves linear, up to 4 cm long, thinly-stellate-hairy, sometimes also with glandular hairs; margins entire. Flowers drooping, small, solitary, axillary, pink, red or purple; peduncle up to 3.5 cm long, pubescent. Fruit oblong-ovoid, c. 8 x 6 mm, thinly stellate-pubescent, with small spreading apical horns, up to 1 mm long. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

Slender or much-branched annual herb up to c. 60 cm tall; branches slender, pubescent with short glandular hairs and longer simple hairs. Leaf-lamina 1–4 x 0.1–0.25 cm, strictly linear, apex obtuse, margin entire, thinly appressed-stellate-pubescent on both surfaces and also with glandular hairs in some specimens; petiole c. 2 mm long, with glandular and simple hairs; stipules c. 2 mm long, subulate, pubescent. Flowers solitary in the upper axils on filamentous puberulous peduncles up to 3.5 cm long; pedicel up to 8 mm long, articulated by a slightly swollen joint to the peduncle, puberulous; bracts absent. Calyx campanulate, 3–5 x 3–6 mm, pubescent with simple and glandular hairs, lobed 2/3 of the way down; lobes from lanceolate to ovate-acuminate. Petals c. 6 x 2.5 mm, pink, red or purplish, narrowly obovate, margins scarcely inrolled in the lower half. Stamens with obovate filaments c. 2.5 mm long, without hairs on the shoulders; anthers c. 3 mm long, pubescent. Ovary oblong-ovoid, stipitate, glandular; styles c. 2 mm long, puberulous in the lower half. Capsule c. 8 x 6 mm, oblong-ovoid, thinly stellate-pubescent with some glands or glabrescent, with spreading horns at the apex c. 1 mm long. Seeds c. 1.5 x 0.75 mm, almost black, corniform (arcuate and thicker at one end than the other), wrinkled and minutely tuberculate. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

Erect, annual herb 4–15 cm tall, stem 0.5–1 mm diameter at base, usually unbranched; stems scattered with patent simple and glandular hairs, sometimes with a few stellate and long simple hairs. Leaf-blade linear-oblong, 1.6–3≈0.1–0.4(–0.6) cm, apex obtuse, margin entire, base acute, nerves inconspicuous, upper surface glabrous or with a few stellate or simple hairs, lower surface with scattered stellate hairs and sessile glandular hairs; petiole 1–2 mm long; stipules subpatent, subulate, 1.5–2.5 mm long. Inflorescence with flowers single in the upper axils; peduncle 12–30 mm long, ebracteate, subglabrous or with a few simple hairs; pedicel thicker than and conspicuously articulated with the peduncle, 2–3 mm long. Flowers pendulous, wine-red or red, ±5 mm wide. Calyx campanulate, 4 x 3–4 mm, lobed for 1/2, lobes narrowly triangular, 2–2.6 x 1–1.3 mm, glabrous apart from a few simple hairs on the lobe margins. Petals oblanceolate, 5–6 x 1.4–3 mm, margins not or only very slightly involute in lower half, glabrous; stamens with filaments oblanceolate, 2–2.5 x 0.7 mm, glabrous; anthers white, 2.5–3 x 0.3 mm. Ovary truncate-ovoid, 1.5 x 1.2 mm, awns inconspicuous, stipe 0.7 mm long; styles 1.5 mm long. Fruit capsule truncate-ovoid, ±5 x 4 mm, awns inconspicuous, 0.2–0.4 mm long, erect, sparsely and inconspicuously puberulous with simple and glandular hairs; seeds black, reniform, 1.3 x 0.7 x 0.6 mm, with approx. 8 transverse bands and scattered glossy black papillae. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora of Tropical East Africa)

Annual herb up to 30 cm tall or more; stems pubescent with short glandular hairs and longer mostly simple hairs. Leaves with up to c. 3 mm long petiole; stipules up to 2 mm long, linear; blade linear, 10–40 x 1–3 mm, acute, with entire margin (rarely with a couple of teeth near apex). Flowers solitary in upper leaf-axils; peduncle 10–35 mm long; pedicel 3–8 mm long, without bracteoles. Calyx c. 4–5 mm long, pubescent. Petals c. 6 mm long, red to purplish. Stamens with filaments c. 2.5 mm long and anthers c. 3 mm long. Styles c. 2 mm long. Capsule 5–9 mm long, oblong-ovoid, sparsely pubescent and with spreading c. 1 mm long hairs at the apex. Seeds c. 1.5 mm long, transversely wrinkled and with scattered tubercles. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Somalia)

Hermannia modesta is in the form of slender herb up to 40 cm high, sometimes constituting a real bush. The leaves are elongated. The corolla can take on various colors: white, pink, red, purple. (from, translated from French by Google Translate)
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Photographer: AA Dreyer
Date of photograph: 22 Sep 2008
Camera make: Canon
Camera model: PowerShot A700
Lens aperture: f/4.0
Shutter speed: 1/800 s
ISO speed: -
Content last updated: 03 Oct 2022

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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Last updated 03 Oct 2022

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