5 responses to “Gazania rigens”

  1. Pygge

    I love Gazanias. This summer I grew a sort of G. splendens, but also the beautiful wild species G. liniaris that looked a lot like this species (some flowers were yellow with black and some were yellow without black, which I now got explained). Interesting facts you present. When I studied botany DNA testing was not yet a way to go and cladistics was not as ‘clear cut’ as it’s starting to become. The concept of a species has never been an easy one and I bet it will take a long time before we’re finally ‘there’. DNA will confuse some things and sort out other things, I’m sure.

  2. Jessica

    I loooove the closeup photo of the composite flower, showing the ray and disc flowers that make up the overall “flower head”. So fascinating. Thanks for another great entry. And, yes, it really did brighten up the day! 😀

  3. Duke Benadom

    Seeing a field of these flowering plants in South Africa/Namibia is absolutely breathtaking!

  4. Pat Collins

    Wouldn’t it be better to use an Englished version of sensu strictu and sensu lato?

    Close, near or exact for strictu. Broad, extended or wide for lato.

  5. Thor Henrich

    There is an accumulating body of empirical evidence that most animals and plants have evolved (and are still evolving) in a reticular pattern, not the simple tree as depicted by Darwin. In animals (eg. horses, wolves, toads, Galapagos finches, and humans), DNA analysis has shown that hybridization, gene introgression, and lateral gene flow is the norm, and not the exception. People of European origin have up to 4% Neanderthal genes, making them natural hybrids of Homo sapiens & H. neanderthalensis. The pattern traces into the distant past.

    Crossing closely related species has long been used in horticulture (eg. novel crosses of rose, iris, rhododendron species) and agriculture (hybrid wheat, corn, rice, now soy and canola), to create new ‘species’. With the growing use of cladistics and DNA (nuclear & chloroplast) genome sequencing, botanists are now discovering hybrid species complexes in nature, finding variable numbers of ‘pure’ species and so-called hybrid species, which confound the classical species concept (a group of interbreeding organisms with similar morphology). Such patterns have recently been found in meadowfoam (Limnanthes spp.), and oaks (Quercus spp), and now Gazanias. The net result is that evolution of species may be faster, more dynamic, and adaptive to changes in the environment than previously understood.

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