Fenestraria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fenestraria
Fenestraria rhopalophylla.JPG
Fenestraria rhopalophylla
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Ruschioideae
Tribe: Ruschieae
Genus: Fenestraria
N.E.Br.
Species:
F. rhopalophylla
Binomial name
Fenestraria rhopalophylla
(Schltr. & Diels) N.E.Br.
Synonyms

Fenestraria aurantiaca

Fenestraria (known as babies' toes[1] or window plant[citation needed]) is a (possibly monotypic) genus of succulent plants in the family Aizoaceae, native to the Namaqualand in Namibia.

Description[edit]

F. rhopalophylla in flower
F. rhopalophylla subsp. aurantica

The only species currently recognised in this genus is Fenestraria rhopalophylla. Each leaf has an epidermal window, a transparent window-like area, at its rounded tip, it is for these window-like structures that the genus is named (Latin: fenestra).

Fenestraria rhopalophylla appears very similar to Frithia pulchra, though the leaves are a slightly different shape and F. rhopalophylla has yellow flowers, compared to the pink flowers of F. pulchra.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In the wild, the plant commonly grows under sand, except for the transparent tips, which allow light into the leaves for photosynthesis; the plant produces optical fibers made from crystalline oxalic acid which transmit light to subterranean photosynthetic sites.

Fenestraria rhopalophylla is native to Namaqualand in southern Africa and to Namibia; the plants generally grow in sandy or calciferous soils under low < 100 mm rainfall, that occurs in the winter.

Subspecies[edit]

  • F. rhopalophylla subsp. rhopalophylla with white flowers in autumn
  • F. rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca (=*F. aurantiaca) with yellow flowers

The status of Fenestraria aurantiaca is under review to determine whether its proper status is that of a full species or a subspecies of Fenestraria rhopalophylla.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 19 August 2016
  2. ^ The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed June 2013)
  3. ^ Fenestraria - page on Succulent Guide