Astroloba foliolosa


Astroloba foliolosa, Springbokvlakte
Astroloba foliolosa (Haw.) Uitewaal  

by Jakub Jilemicky and Steven Molteno


foliolosa: many leaved.

These Astrolobas are real “prickly columns”, with a multitude of tiny sharp leaves, pointing out horizontally from the stem. It can be distinguished from its relative to the East, Astroloba congesta, by its leaves being patent (horizontal), more short and rounded at the base and size - foliolosa is much thinner. It also has the most imbricate leaf arrangement, as it almost never has its leaves arranged in vertical rows or tiers. The leaves are glossy, and are usually a light green colour. The plants form dense clumps and the columnar stems are initially straight and erect, until their height eventually causes them to tile and eventually to ramble along the ground. 


Astroloba foliolosa, Waaipoort
The creamy white flowers appear on a slender (usually unbranched) inflorescence, in the summer (mostly October to December). 

Flower detail of A. foliolosa from W of Steytlerville

Distribution map
This species favours Nama Karoo and Thicket vegetation in the Eastern Cape Province. It has been found as far North as Graaff-Reinet, as far South as Addo Elephant Park, as far West as the Steytlerville area, and eastwards where it gradually fades into Astroloba congesta. Around Graaff-Reinet are plants very robust and there can be continuity to Astroloba robusta further to the North and West from here.


Astroloba foliolosa, Graaff-Reinet
A. foliolosa is from a summer rainfall area, and therefore in cultivation it requires its sparse watering to be primarily over the warmer summer months. It grows best when it has some shelter from full sun and extremely well-drained soil (just like all Astrolobas). It is well widespread in cultivation. 


Known localities:
  • Camdeboo Nat. Park, Graaff-Reinet (3224AB)
  • De Plaat (3325AD)
  • Edenvale, SE of Graaff-Reinet (3224BC)
  • S of Steytlerville (3324AD)
  • Middlewater, 40 km S of Somerset East (3325AB)
  • near Damplaas (3324BD)
  • near Dunbrody (3325DA)
  • S of Sandpoort, Grootrivier (3324BC)
  • Sandpoort (3324BD)
  • Sandpoort East (3324BC)
  • Springbokvlakte (3324BD)
  • W of Grootpoort, NW. Sapkamma (3325AC)
  • Waaipoort, NE of Steytlerville (3324AB)
  • 12 km E of Steytlerville
  • near Beerpoort (3324AA)
  • near Addo
  • Bouersfontein (3325AB)
  • E of Waaipoort (3324AB)
  • Joubertskraal, S of Pearston (3225CA)
  • Marzyl (3324AD)
  • N of Mount Stewart (3324AA)
  • Platrivier, NW of Pearston (3224CA)
  • near Driekuilen, SE of Steytlerville
  • S of Sandkraalpoort (3324AC)
  • Turksvygrivier, SW of Pearston (3225CA)
  • Volkersrivier (3325AB)
Astroloba foliolosa, near Dunbrody
Astroloba foliolosa, near Dunbrody
Locality of A. foliolosa, near Dunbrody
Astroloba foliolosa, near Steytlerville
Astroloba foliolosa, near Steytlerville
Astroloba foliolosa, near Steytlerville
Locality of A. foliolosa, near Steytlerville
Astroloba foliolosa, De Plaat, Kabouga
Astroloba foliolosa, De Plaat, Kabouga
Astroloba foliolosa, De Plaat, Kabouga
Locality of A. foliolosa, De Plaat, Kabouga
Astroloba foliolosa, near Damplaas
Astroloba foliolosa, near Damplaas
Astroloba foliolosa, near Damplaas
Astroloba foliolosa, near Damplaas
Locality of A. foliolosa, near Damplaas
Astroloba foliolosa, Springbokvlakte
Astroloba foliolosa, Springbokvlakte
Astroloba foliolosa, Camdeboo Nat. Park, Graaff-Reinet
Astroloba foliolosa, Camdeboo Nat. Park, Graaff-Reinet

Astroloba foliolosa, Camdeboo Nat. Park, Graaff-Reinet

Locality of A. foliolosa, Camdeboo Nat. Park, Graaff-Reinet

Astroloba foliolosa, Sandpoort East

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