William Henry Harvey, 1867
Eswatini, S Mozambique, South
Decne & William Henry Harvey.
Gerrardanthus portentosus, Naudin ex T.Durand.
This member of the Cucurbitaceae
family comes from southern Mozambique, Eswatini and South Africa. First described by Benth &
Hooker, and then re-named by William Henry Harvey in 1867. Well-drained and
rather rich soil with some water an
not too much sun. The caudex can grow up to 1,5 meter, and the vines to
ten or even more than 20 meters. As seen on the photos, both male and female flower are
A name spelled in many ways: Gerrardanthus macrorhizus, macrorhiza, macrorrhizus, macrorrhiza. Seen other spellings as well. First description should be
in: Bentham & Hooker, Gen. Pl. 1: 840, 1867, and that is with one
"r". It is "bad Latin", but never the less: The correct name.
The genera name for William
Tyrer Gerrard, 1831-1866, a British naturalist, botanical
collector and traveller in South Africa and
Greek; anthos; 'flower'. The species name means 'big root'.
It seems like some
of them just root underneath. Some sort of fungus you just
can't avoid. Those who have it, will survive, but the caudex will loose
it originally look.
It might be avoided by letting the caudex rest on rough gravel.