Richtersveld Vegetation

At the end of last year, we went on a paddling trip along the Orang river and through the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. It was great and is highly recommended! Here are a few pics of us on the river and some of the plants we found in the desert, including some very hardy looking cacti. Does anyone know which plants these are?

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4 Responses to Richtersveld Vegetation

  1. Niall March 7, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    looks awesome – how crazy is that spiky plant, top right?

  2. Viv March 7, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    The white flower is ‘Mal pitte’, it is the same family as the moon flower and it’s active ingredient is toxic, but used medicinally in extreme cases – it is Datura, found in many plants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura If you eat the seeds, you risk losing three days of your life to hallucinations and a seriously altered mind state. I have seen in sangoma practice, patients walking with chains on their legs. when i inquired about it, they said he was undergoing treatment for mental illness. i was later told that it was likely Datura and the chains were there to prevent him from walking too far from his caregiver, while still allowing him the freedom to face his demons. Interesting.

  3. Viv March 7, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    oh, it is a common weed, found almost all over SA

  4. Lorraine March 7, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    The spiky plants are euphorbias of some sort. It is interesting to note that there are no cacti in Africa – most of them are native to southern and central America. If you break a piece of euphorbia off you will find it pours out a thick, milky, latex like substance which is difficult to remove from the skin and is very toxic.

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