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Dionysia crista-galli

Guest photographers: Marijn van den Brink

 Botanical Description
Some clones forming dense, rather flat cushions but more usually forming looser cushions comprising columnar shoots becoming bare below but densely clad with tiny marcescent leaves toward the apex. The former have an overall greyish appearance, the latter somewhat greener. Leaves narrowly obovate-elliptic, 3-4mm long, 1-1.5mm wide, with a conspicuous crest of whitish hairs. Corolla yellow, limb 5-6mm broad, tube 9-12mm long. Discovered in 1971 but only introduced into cultivation in 2000 and even then initially thought to be a particularly hairy D. haussknechtii. Subsequently DZ I 00-35, DZ I 01-18, T4Z175, and JLMS02-109 were reassessed to be this little known species. All collections were from limestone cliffs at around 2500m on Ghadee Kuh between Aligoudarz and Shoulabad in Lorestan Province, Iran. Some plants of DZ I 01-18 turned out to be lilac in colour and are probably natural hybrids with D. zschummelii which was growing nearby. Still rather rare in cultivation. Recent introductions from the same area are CIA111-1, CIA111-3 and CIA144-1.

Reference: ALPINE GARDEN SOCIETY PLANT ENCYCLOPAEDIA

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