Plants photographed elsewhere in Namibia (not on Kyffhäuser)
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Euphorbia gummifera Boiss.

Euphorbia gummifera


Family: Euphorbiaceae
Full name: Euphorbia gummifera Boiss.
Location: Along B4, E of Luederitz (2615DA)
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Gomnoors
English common name(s): Gum milk bush, Southern Namib euphorbia
Synonym(s): -
Status: Near-endemic
Description: A leafless spineless bush, forming large clumps 3–4 ft. high, succulent at the younger parts, woody below, dioecious, with a very disagreeable odour; flowering branches erect or ascending, 2.5–5 lin. thick, slightly angular from raised lines decurrent from the slightly prominent leaf-scars, glabrous, or, in the female plant, minutely tomentose for about 0.25 in. immediately under the inflorescence at the apex, more or less covered with a dry gummy or resinous exudation (not velvety-pruinose as described by Boissier); leaves minute, rudimentary, scale-like, fleshy, recurved, dark red, only seen on the tips of growing branches, soon deciduous; male plant with 1 or more dense sessile clusters of involucres at the tips of the branches, about 0.25–0.5 in. in diam.; female plant with a few sessile involucres at the tips; involucres sessile, about 0.167 in. in diam., less when dried, cup-shaped, apparently reddish or purplish, minutely white-tomentose, with 4–5 glands and 5 subquadrate or rounded entire lobes; glands about 0.667 lin. in their greater diam., transverse, reniform or half-orbicular, entire, apparently dark red or purple; capsule about 0.5 in. in diam., obtusely 3-angled, very minutely and not densely puberulous, probably somewhat fleshy when alive, exserted on a pedicel not longer than the involucre, erect; styles 0.75 lin. long, stout, channelled, bifid at the apex, spreading; seeds 3 lin. long, and 3.5 lin. broad, somewhat subquadrate, compressed dorsally, with a ridge down the back, smooth, at first brown, becoming white when perfectly ripe. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Multistemmed, spineless, much-branched, succulent shrub, forming dense, dark clumps usually up to 1.3 x 2 m, rarely larger. Flowering branches dull dark green, up to 10 mm in cross-section, new growth reddish. Inflorescence sessile, terminal; cyathia many and clustered in male, fewer in female. Glands maroon. Male and female flowers on separate plants. Flowering winter to spring. Capsules held erect on very short stalks, bright pink ripening to pale brown, up to 12 mm in diameter when mature, larger just before drying, obscurely 3-angled, thinly covered with minute hairs. This species is characteristic of the winter rainfall areas of south-western Namibia and the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, where it tends to occur in scattered stands mainly on gentle sandy and gravelly slopes, sometimes also on quite steep hillslopes. It can host Hydnora africana, a root parasite. Oryx have been reported browsing it in dry seasons, and the seeds are eaten by small mammals and birds. (from Wildflowers of the southern Namib by Coleen Mannheimer)
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: M Weigand
Date of photograph: 13 Feb 2020
Camera make: Panasonic
Camera model: DMC-FZ1000
Lens aperture: f/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/4000 s
ISO speed: 125
Content last updated: 25 Jun 2020

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 25 Jun 2020

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