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Subfamily: Ruschioideae (mesems in part)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Order: Caryophyllales > Family: Aizoaceae

The subfamilies Mesembryanthemoideae and Ruschioideae make up the group of succulents loosely termed the mesems that in some classifications are placed in a separate family, the Mesembryanthemaceae. In this classification they are placed in the Aizoaceae because evidence suggests that mesems were derived from within this group (see under Aizoaceae for more information).

Genera native to southern Africa

Based on information from Chesselet et al. (2000).

Apatesia group

Apatesia

Three species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Carpanthea

One species: Carpanthea pomeridiana, endemic to the Western Cape.

Caryotophora

One species: Caryotophora skiatophytoides, endemic to a small region near Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape.

Conicosia

Two species, native to Namibia, the Western Cape and Northern Cape. 

Hymenogyne

Two species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Saphesia

One species: Saphesia flaccida, endemic to the sandy plains in the Malmesbury and Clanwilliam districts of the Western Cape.

Skiatophytum

One species: Skiatophytum tripolium, endemic to the Western Cape.

Cleretum group

Aethephyllum

One species: Aethephyllum pinnatifidum, endemic to the Western Cape.

Cleretum

Three species, endemic to the Western and Northern Cape.

Dorotheanthus

Seven species, endemic to the Western and Northern Cape.

Mitrophyllum group

Dicrocaulon

Seven species, native to Namaqualand.

Diplosoma

Two species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Disphyma

Four species, native to South Africa, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, with two species native to South Africa (found along the coast in the Western and Eastern Cape).

Glottiphyllum

Sixteen species, native to the southern parts of South Africa, especially in and around the Little Karoo.

Glottiphyllum cruciatum

Hammeria

Two species, native to the Tanqua and Ceres Karoo in the Western and Northern Cape.

Jacobsenia

Three species, native to Namaqualand in the Vanrhynsdorp and Vredendal vicinity.

Meyerophytum

One species: Meyerophytum meyeri, native from the Richtersveld to southern Namaqualand.

Mitrophyllum

Six species, endemic to the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape.

Monilaria

Five species, endemic to Namaqualand.

Oophytum

Two species, endemic to the quartz fields on the Knersvlakte north of Vanrhynsdorp in the Western Cape.

Delosperma group

Corpuscularia

Eight species, endemic to the Eastern Cape.

Delosperma

About 163 species, with 147 species native to South Africa. The remaining species occur in East Africa, Ethiopia, Arabia and the Yemen.

Delosperma pondoense

Drosanthemum

A total of 109 species, native to Namibia and western, southern and central South Africa.

Gibbaeum

Seventeen species, native mainly in the vicinity of the Little Karoo, but the distribution does extend into the Northern Cape.

Malephora

Sixteen species, endemic to southern Africa, found mainly in karroid areas.

Mestoklema

Six species, endemic to southern Africa.

Muiria

One species: Muiria hortenseae, endemic to the Barrydale district, Western Cape.

Oscularia

Twenty-three species, native to the fynbos of the Western Cape, extending slightly into the Northern Cape.

Oscularia deltoides (Aizoaceae)

Trichodiadema

Thirty-two species, native to the arid and semi-arid regions of Namibia and South Africa.

Stomatium group

Chasmatophyllum

Eight species, sparsely distributed over Namibia and South Africa.

Faucaria

Eight species, native to the Eastern Cape thickets as well as the karoo, South Africa.

Frithia

Two species, native to the summer rainfall region of South Africa.

Mossia

One species: Mossia intervallaris, native to the summer rainfall region of South Africa, and Lesotho. 

Neohenricia

Two species, native to the Northern Cape, Free State and the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Orthopterum

The two species are found in subtropical thickets of the Eastern Cape.

Peersia

Three species: Peersia frithii, Peersia macradenia and Peersia vanheerdei. Native to the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, South Africa.

 

Rabiea

Six species, native to the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape.

Rhinephyllum

Ten species, native to the karoo, South Africa.

Stomatium

Thirty-nine species, native to the arid and semi-arid regions of South Africa.

Titanopsis group

Aloinopsis

Eight species, native to the karoo, South Africa.

Deilanthe

Three species, native to the karoo, South Africa.

Didymaotus

One species: Didymaotus lapidiformis, native to the Tanqua karoo, Western Cape.

Dinteranthus

Six species, native to the Northern Cape and southeastern Namibia.

Ihlenfeldtia

Two species, native to the quartzitic soils of the Northern Cape.

Lapidaria

One species: Lapidaria margaretae, native to southern Namibia and the Northern Cape.

Lithops

Thirty-seven species, native to southern Africa, excluding Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Nananthus

Six species, native to the southern Africa interior.

Schwantesia

Eleven species, native to the Northern Cape and southern Namibia.

Tanquana

Three species, native to the Tanqua Karoo and adjacent karoo areas in the Western Cape.

Titanopsis

Three species, native to Namibia, Northern Cape and Free State.

Vanheerdea

Two species, native to the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Zeuktophyllum

Two species, native to the areas around Ladismith and Laingsburg in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Dracophilus group

Conophytum

One hundred and three species, endemic to the semi-arid and arid winter-rainfall regions of South Africa, including the Northern Cape (Namaqualand, Richtersveld and Bushmanland), Western Cape (Little Karoo and southern margins of Great Karoo), and just extending into the western parts of the Eastern Cape.

Dracophilus

Two species, endemic to Namibia and the Northern Cape, with a distribution extending from Lüderitz to the Richtersveld.  

Hartmanthus

Two species, endemic to the arid Richtersveld (Northern Cape, South Africa) and the Sperrgebiet (Namibia).

Jensenobotrya

One species: Jensenobotrya lossowiana, endemic to Namibia, occurring in the desert between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay.

Juttadinteria

Five species, endemic to the Northern Cape and Namibia, mainly from Lüderitz to the northern Richtersveld.

Namibia

Two species, endemic to the Lüderitz vicinity in Namibia.

Nelia

Two species, endemic to the Northern Cape, South Africa (Richtersveld and Namaqualand).

Psammophora

Four species, endemic to Namibia and the Northern Cape (South Africa), with a distribution extending from Lüderitz to the Richtersveld.

Ruschianthus

One species: Ruschianthus falcatus, endemic to a small area in southern Namibia.

Bergeranthus group

Bergeranthus

Ten species, all endemic to the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Bijlia

Two species, endemic to the Western Cape, occurring in the vicinity of Prince Albert.

Carruanthus

Two species, endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape (South Africa), occurring in the vicinity of Willowmore which lies near the border between these two provinces.

Cerochlamys

Three species, endemic to the Western Cape (South Africa), occurring in rocky crevices and shaly places in the Little and Great Karoo.

Hereroa

Twenty-seven species, endemic to arid and semi-arid regions of southern Namibia, and South Africa. 

Machairophyllum

Four species, endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape (South Africa), occurring mainly in the Little Karoo.

Rhombophyllum

Five species, native mainly to subtropical thicket vegetation in the Eastern Cape, but the genus has also been recorded from the south-eastern Northern Cape.

Lampranthus group

Antegibbaeum

One species: Antegibbaeum fissoides, endemic to the Little Karoo, Western Cape.

Antegibbaeum fissoides

Braunsia

Six species, endemic to karroid regions of the southwestern parts of South Africa.

Carpobrotus (sour figs)

Seven of the 13 species are native to southern Africa, occurring mainly along the coast. Beyond southern Africa, there is one native species in the USA, one in South America and four in Australia. Southern African species are cultivated in climatically suitable regions worldwide.

Carpobrotus acinaciformis

Circandra

One species: Circandra serrata, endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa.

Enarganthe

One species: Enarganthe octonaria, endemic to the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Erepsia

Thirty-one species, endemic to the winter-rainfall regions of the Western and Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Erepsia inclaudens

Esterhuysenia

Five species, endemic to mountainous regions of the Western Cape.

Lampranthus

Species total 195, all endemic to southern Africa, occurring in a broad band from southern Namibia, round the coast to the border between Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Lampranthus aureus

Namaquanthus

One species: Namaquanthus vanheerdii, endemic to Namaqualand in the Northern Cape.

Scopelogena

Two species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Smicrostigma

One species: Smicrostigma viride, endemic to arid areas north of the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains in the Western and Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Vlokia

Two species: Vlokia ater and Vlokia montana, endemic to an area near Montagu in the Western Cape.

Wooleya

One species: Wooleya farinosa, endemic to the Namaqualand coastal plain (Northern Cape, South Africa).

Ruschia group

Acrodon

Six species, endemic to the Western and Eastern Cape, South Africa. 

Arenifera

Four species, endemic to the Northern Cape and Western Cape, South Africa.

Astridia

Twelve species, endemic to the Northern Cape (South Africa) and southern Namibia.

 

Brianhuntleya

One species: Brianhuntleya intrusa, endemic to the Worcester-Robertson Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa. The species was previously placed in the genus Ruschia.

 

Ebracteola

Four species, endemic to southern Africa, occurring over a fairly wide region of Namibia and South Africa.

Khadia

Six species, endemic to southern Africa, occurring in the North-West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Marlothistella

One species: Marlothistella stenophylla, endemic to the Little Karoo in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Polymita

Two species, endemic to northern Namaqualand (Northern Cape, South Africa).

Ruschia

A total of 213 species, endemic to southern Africa, widespread in this region but absent from Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Stayneria

One species: Stayneria neilii, endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa, occurring along the Breede River valley.

Leipoldtia group

Antimima

A total of 104 species, endemic to southern Africa.

Argyroderma

Eleven species, endemic to the Knersvlakte in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Cephalophyllum

Thirty-three species, endemic to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape and the Western Cape).

Cheiridopsis

Thirty-three species, endemic to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape and the Western Cape), with the main concentration of species in Namaqualand.

Cylindrophyllum

Five species, endemic to South Africa (Western, Northern and Eastern Cape), with the main concentration of species in the Little Karoo.

Fenestraria

One species: Fenestraria rhopalophylla, native from Lüderitz in Namibia to the Richtersveld in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Hallianthus

One species: Hallianthus planus, native to Namaqualand (Northern Cape, South Africa) and in the Tanqua Karoo of the Western Cape.

Jordaaniella

Six species, endemic to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape).

Jordaaniella dubia

Leipoldtia

Twelve species, native to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape), but most species occur in the Richtersveld vicinity.

Octopoma

Nine species, endemic to South Africa (Namaqualand, Northern Cape, and Little Karoo, Western Cape).

Odontophorus

Four species, endemic to the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Odontophorus angustifolius subsp. protoparcoides

Ottosonderia

Two species, endemic to Namaqualand (in Northern and Western Cape, South Africa).

Pleiospilos

Four species, endemic to Western, Eastern and Northern Cape, South Africa, occurring mainly in the Little Karoo.

Schlechteranthus

Two species, endemic to the Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Vanzijlia

One species: Vanzijlia annulata, endemic to the Northern and Western Cape, South Africa.

Eberlanzia group

Amphibolia

Five species, endemic to Namibia and South Africa (Northern Cape and Western Cape).

Eberlanzia

Eight species, endemic to the southern Namib Desert (Namibia) and western Namaqualand (Northern Cape, South Africa).

Stoeberia

Six species, endemic to Namaqualand (Northern Cape, South Africa) and Namibia.

Uncertain placement

Calamophyllum

Three species: Calamophyllum cylindricum, Calamophyllum teretifolium, Calamophyllum teretiusculum

Phiambolia

Eight species, endemic to the Western Cape and Northern Cape, South Africa. Some of the species in this genus were previously in Lampranthus and Ruschia.

 

Ruschiella

Four species, endemic to the Western Cape.

 

Publications

  • Chesselet, P., Smith, G.F., Burgoyne, P.M., Klak, C., Hammer, S.A., Hartmann, H.E.K., Kurzweil, H., van Jaarsveld, E.J., van Wyk, B-E. & Leistner, O.A. 2000. Mesembryanthemaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 360-410. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

 

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