Alice? Oh! THAT Alice! Flashed Drosera aliciae (Alice Sundew), Fernkloof, Hermanus, South Africa

Not yet with flower, but beautiful in its own right because of its bright-red anthocyanin pigmentation persumably useful for attracting insects. This was one in a little cluster of sundews shadowed by bright yellow featherbushes on the edge of the Limoenkop Path of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve at Hermanus, South Africa. It's only 1,5 -2,5 cm in diameter, and defined by Fernkloof as Drosera aliciae. Names are intriguing, of course. Drosera is easy enough: a Greek word having to do with dew; but I wondered who that Aliciae (= Alice) might be. In fact, the plant is called 'Alice sundew' in English. My search was more complicated than I might have wished, but to make a longer story short enough for flickr: In 1905 the precocious 15-year old Raymond Hamet (1890-1972) published the first description of this sundew in the "Journal de Botanique", giving it its Latin name. In a footnote - appropriately in those days in Latin - he writes that he's named it in honor of Dr Alice Rasse, who had encouraged him to study this 'section' of the sundew family; presumably when he was but fourteen! Apparently the young man had something with Alices, because five years later he named a Kalanchoe (of Madagascar) aliciae after another Alice, namely someone he collaborated with in botanical work later: Alice Leblanc. Hamet is something of a mysterious botanist. Today - after 1935, when he subtly changed his name - he is known not as R. Hamet but as Raymond-Hamet, botanically written as Raym.-Hamet. He remained fiercely independent his entire life, refusing university tutelage and funding his labs privately. But his memorialist Léo Marion writes (1973): 'Cependant, s'il aimait travailler seul, il était loin d'être un misanthrope. Au contraire, il aimait recevoir', and he and his wife were charming hosts whom visitors were loathe to quit.

Keywords: Drosera aliciae. Drosera. Anthocyanin. Featherbush. Limoenkop. Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus. Hermanus, South Africa. Sundew. Dew. Alice Rasse. Alice Leblanc. Kalanchoe. Madagascar. Alice sundew. Raymond Hamet. Raym.-Hamet. Léo Marion. NaturesFinest. SuperShot. Flickrdiamond. DiamondClassPhotographer. Journal de Botanique. BEJ. Ish@Flickr. PicturePerfect. ABigFave. ImpressedBeauty. Fine ART Photos.

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