For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Black Forest Spike-thorn (Gymnosporia mossambicensis)

Family Celastraceae
 No information available on this. It is found only in the north eastern part of South Africa.
 The person who identified it for me had this to add:
"I would not say it is edible for humans since the species may contain toxic substances like Maytansine which was first extracted from an earlier name of the genus. Maytansine was thought to be a wonder drug for cancer, has since been demonstrated as being too poisonous for the patient. Later, from using plants in the same group in Pretoria Botanic garden it has recently been demonstrated the chemical does not come from the plant directly but from a soil pathogen. In the USA they recently used carriers to transport the drug directly to the colon cancer cell."