Orbea tapscottii (Verd.) L.C.Leach

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Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

Orbea tapscottii

Photo: Tony Benn
Mmopane, Gaborone

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Synonyms: Stapelia tapscottii I. Verd.
Stultitia tapscottii (I. Verd.) E. Phillips
Common names:
Status: Native
Succulent perennial up to 12 cm high, forming clumps up to 50 cm wide. Stems erect, marked with brown or purple, lines or patches; tubercles 10-25 mm long, tapering into a slender, somewhat flattened tooth. Flowers 1-3 per stem near the base on pedicels 6-12 mm long. Corolla 2-6 cm in diameter,star-shaped; outside smooth, pale green, with 3-5 purplish veins on the lobes;inside pale brown, purple-brown or red with many cream ridges; margins with purple ciliae up to 3 mm long. Corona 4 mm tall, red to deep maroon or pale yellow with maroon markings; inner lobes erect, S-shaped, lobes connecting in the middle and diverging at the tuberculae tips.
Notes: Apparently threatened by overgrazing and urban expansion.
Derivation of specific name: tapscottii: named after Sydney Tapscott (1886-1943), surveyor and naturalist who collected succulent plants in particular.
Habitat: In flat gravelly or sandy soils under short bushes, often in overgrazed areas.
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Botswana and South Africa.
Botswana distribution: SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Endangered
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bruyns, P.V. (2002). Monograph of Orbea and Ballyanthus (Apocynaceae-Asclepiadoideae-Ceropegieae) Systematic Botany Monographs 63 Pages 156 - 157. (Includes a picture).

Bruyns, P.V. (2005). Stapeliads of Southern Africa and Madagascar Volume I Umdaus Press, Hatfield, South Africa Pages 306 - 307. (Includes a picture).

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Botswana Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 18.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 124. (Includes a picture).

Leach, L.C. (1975). The Reinstatement of Orbea Haw. (Asclepiadaceae) Kirkia 10(1) Page 291.

Leach, L.C. (1978). A contribution towards a new classification of Stapelieae (Asclepiadaceae) with a preliminary review of Orbea Haw. and descriptions of three new genera Excelsa Taxonomic Series No. 1 Aloe, Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe Pages 31 - 32. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 28.

Other sources of information about Orbea tapscottii:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Orbea tapscottii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Orbea tapscottii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Orbea tapscottii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Orbea tapscottii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Orbea tapscottii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Orbea tapscottii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Orbea tapscottii
iNaturalist: Orbea tapscottii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Orbea tapscottii
JSTOR Plant Science: Orbea tapscottii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Orbea tapscottii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Orbea tapscottii
Plants of the World Online: Orbea tapscottii
Tropicos: Orbea tapscottii
Wikipedia: Orbea tapscottii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Orbea tapscottii.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=215160, retrieved 28 January 2022

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