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Othonna cremnophila

$3.30 USD

Othonna cremnophila

Origin and Habitat: Othonna cremnophila is a localized habitat specialist (Extent of occurrence 40 km²), occurring at two to three locations in the Central Richtersveld, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Type locality: (South Africa, Northern Cape, Richtersveld, Rosyntjieberg).
Altitude range. 700-1000 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology: Major habitats Rosyntjieberg Succulent Shrubland and Central Richtersveld Mountain Shrubland. O. cremnophila grows confined to quartz crevices on south-facing cliffs. It is uniquely adapted to this type of habitat and is known as a cremnophyte (from the Greek, kremnos = cliff + phyton = plant). It is deciduous during summer. The leaves become deciduous in late spring. The stems of O. cremnophila remain photosynthetically active. Storage of water in the leaves is therefore temporary. Severe overstocking of livestock in the Richtersveld is causing ongoing degradation, loss of vegetation cover, and species diversity due to overgrazing and trampling. Most of this species' habitat is inaccessible to livestock, but where plants are accessible, they become stunted by heavy grazing. It is popular in horticulture, but slow growing, and therefore potentially threatened by collectors removing plants from the wild for the succulent trade.

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