Astroloba 'Gintsuno'

Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno' 
by Steven Molteno and Jakub Jilemicky

Astroloba 'Gintsuno' is peculiar population which occurs far to the east near Prince Albert. It is known from one small area near the town. Nearby are growing A. robusta and A. herrei, but this plant is clearly different. Plants here attain enormous sizes, with shiny leaf surfaces and varied combinations of tubercles and striations. Under the name “gintsuno”, it has become a popular and valued ornamental in international markets. 

Distribution map

Astroloba 'Gintsuno' seems to be connected through intermediate hallii populations near Gamkapoort Dam to the main hallii populations further West. It is noticeably connected to them, due to the marginated keels (present in hallii and all its closest relatives to the far West, such as bullulata and cremnophila), the striations, and the tall inflorescences with tiny tubular flowers. The flowers also appear in summer, at the same time as those of hallii. However it is also impressively different. Quite possibly, it will be declared a new species or subspecies at some point in the future. For now we will simply refer to it by its East Asian cultivar name! 

Flower stalk of A. 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Gerhard Marx
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Fruits of A. 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Steven Molteno
Astroloba 'Gintsuno', N of Prince Albert, photo by Gerhard Marx

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