According to Kew Species Profiles[KSP]
- General Description
Boucerosia frerei is an endangered succulent restricted to Maharashtra in western India.
An attractive succulent with star-shaped flowers, Boucerosia frerei was first described as Frerea indica by Nicol A. Dalzell in 1865 from the Junnar hills of the Pune district of Maharashtra state in India. Dalzell dedicated the new genus to Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere (1815-1884) as a mark of esteem and respect, and to encourage scientific research in India.
Based on differences in habit, Dalzell concluded that F. indica should be treated under the genus Frerea rather than in Caralluma . However, in the 21 st Century the correct accepted name has been shown to be Boucerosia frerei.
- Species Profile
Geography and distribution
Restricted to Maharashtra in western India, at 750-1,347 metres above sea level. The distribution of Boucerosia frerei in the wild is restricted to six localities, comprising only a few individuals in each population. The extended distribution of the wild populations has been reported only from the neighbouring districts of Pune: Satara and Raigad (all parts of Maharashtra state).
Overview: A fleshy, hairless perennial with branchesto 50 cm long, spreading on barren rocks or hanging from rock crevices.
Leaves: The elliptic-oblong leaves appear during the monsoon, reaching 7.2 cm long.
Flowers: The star-shaped flowers are crimson to cherry red, and have different patterned markings in different populations. The flowers are solitary or in pairs; the corolla is 2-3 cm in diameter.
Boucerosia frerei is unusual amongst its close relatives in having leafy stems, however the succulent leaves are shed in dry conditions to conserve water. It is often found growing alongside Euphorbia neriifolia, another succulent species.
Threats and conservation
The main threats to Boucerosia frerei populations are grazing and natural disasters such as landslides, fire, and insect infestation.
Although endangered in the wild, B. frerei can easily be propagated in a greenhouse using stem cuttings, especially the rooted branches. Using this method, ex-situ conservation is being carried out in India, especially in the greenhouses of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI, Pune), the Naoroji Godrej Centre for Plant Research (NGCPR, Shindewadi), Satara district, Maharashtra, and the Botanic Garden of the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI, Lucknow).
It is thought that the natural pollinators of B. frerei are now extinct, so fruit does not set in the wild. When cultivated in greenhouses, pollination is carried out by insects such as houseflies and black ants and fruit-setting is common. The plant produces a foetid-smelling secretion, which attracts pollinating insects. Seeds germinate readily under nursery conditions. Plants multiplied from cuttings can be planted out in the natural habitats of the species in Maharashtra.
Boucerosia frerei is sought after by succulent-plant enthusiasts, and makes an unusual subject for the greenhouse in temperate climates. A number of hybrids have been developed with Caralluma species.
This species at Kew
There are three Herbarium specimens of Boucerosia frerei at Kew including one type collected by Dalzell.
Three alcohol-preserved specimens are held in the Spirit Collection of the Herbarium and the Spirit Collection details can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.
The Tropical Nursery, another behind-the-scenes area of Kew, houses eight hanging baskets of live Boucerosia frerei plants.
- Rock crevices on hill cliffs.
- Rated as Endangered (EN) in the Red Data Book of Indian Plants.
First published in Pl. Syst. Evol. 234: 200 (2002)
-  Govaerts, R. (2003) World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS G: 1-40325 [Cited as Caralluma frerei.]
-  Tetali, P., Tetali, S., Kulkami, D.K. & Kumbhojkar. M.S. (1997). Studies on the status and conservation of Frerea indica Dalz. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 94: 115-121.
-  Kothari, M.J. & Moorthy, S. (1994). Flora of Raigad district, Maharashtra State. BSI, Culcutta. pp. 232-233.
-  Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening. Vol. 2 (D to K): 329. Macmillan Press, London.
-  Nayar, M.P. & Sastry, A.R.K. (1987). Red Data Book of Indian Plants. Vol. 1. BSI, Culcutta. pp. 72-73.
-  Santapau, H. (1951). Frerea indica Dalz. – a new record in Bombay. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 50: 427.
-  Dalzell, N.A. (1865). A new genus of Asclepiadaceae. J. Linn. Soc. 8: 10-11.
International Plant Names Index
The International Plant Names Index (2016). Published on the Internet http://www.ipni.org
[A] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
Kew Species Profiles
Kew Species Profiles
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families(2016). Published on the Internet http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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[E] © Copyright 2016 International Plant Names Index and World Checkist of Selected Plant Families. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0