Sunday, February 26, 2012
There are many Gasterias in the UC Botanical Garden, but I chose this one because it is near the path and easy to photograph. They are all native to South Africa. And many of them have a "tongue" common name like cow's tongue or lawyers tongue, I suppose because the plant looks like a bunch of tongues.
This very fleshy succulent is said to repel lightning. I doubt that it does. But it is probably one of the few things left after lighting has caused a fire because all the moisture inside is protective. In Africa, repelling lighting is a very important property because they have some of the highest rates of lighting in the world. The rate is about 70 strikes/square kilometer/year. Wow!