|The Cactus Patch|
|THE NEWSLETTER OF THE BAKERSFIELD CACTUS & SUCCULENT SOCIETY|
|Volume 6 June 2003 Number 6|
|TIRES, TREES & ODDITIES
A Letter From Bruce
by Bruce Hargreaves
Also on my birthday the semi-succulent Plectranthus hereoensis from the proposed National Monument near Mogonye Village bloomed. Next day we had Lilian Turton over for lunch and on Easter Sunday she went with us to see "Chicago".
On the 25th we had a farewell party for Jimmy Mashonja who is retiring after many years as the museum entomologist. We met at his house, drank St Louis lager and listened to Country Westerns with a huge 2 meter (6 foot) monstrose Cereus in the garden behind us. Botswana can be a strange mix.
The strange mix continued from the 5th to 8th of May with Botswana's first ever French Film Festival. It was a series of whodunits and we managed to see half of them. On the 10th we went to an Iranian Trade Fair, where Polly got an enamelled jewel box for Mother's Day. Then went next door at the fairground for a food and beverage exhibit where we bought dried peaches from Lesotho (dried hygienically, not on car hoods as in the past, but still small) as well as a non-alcoholic malt drink from Cuba.
More on the succulent line, Daniel Mofokate and Diphoteng Menyatso (herbarium and garden respectively) returned from a trip to the far North of Botswana on the 8th. I didn't go because I had just been up there last December, but they had better luck. They found both species I was looking for at Mpandamatenga (Huernia levyi which features on the new T-shirt of the International Asclepiad Society, and Aloe christianii in bloom). They also found a Protea. At the Chobe River they found a spiky-thorned shrub they couldn't identify. After searching the depths of my crowded mind I finally remembered "pupwe", a shrub from the far north of Malawi which has edible leaves with a beautiful lemon smell but an awful sliminess when cooked. Further searching I came up with the name Zanthoxylum leprieurii , a member of the Rutaceae or Citrus family. This is a new genus record for Botswana.
Winter has arrived. Two nights have been down to 6 C (41.5 F). Also, there has been so little rain that President Mogae has declared a drought year to release emergency supplies.
I was going to comment on whodunits and poison, but I'll save that for next month. I haven't finished "Murder in Morija" anyway. (It's another monumental tome recording actual history in Lesotho).