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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Aizoaceae
Subfamilia: Ruschioideae
Tribus: Ruschieae
Genus: Fenestraria
Species: F. rhopalophylla
Name

Fenestraria N.E.Br., Gard. Chron. ser. 3, 78: 433 (1925), in clavi.


References

Brown, N.E. 1925. Gardeners' Chronicle Ser. III. 78: 433, in clavi.

Links

Hassler, M. 2018. Fenestraria. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 07. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Fenestraria. Published online. Accessed: Jul. 07 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Fenestraria in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 07.
Tropicos.org 2018. Fenestraria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Jul. 07.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2019. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Fenestraria. .

Vernacular names
English: Babies Toes, Window Plant
français: Plante à Fenêtre
svenska: Fönsterbladssläktet

Fenestraria (known as babies' toes[1] or window plant ) is a (possibly monotypic) genus of succulent plants in the family Aizoaceae, native to the Namaqualand in Namibia.

Description
F. rhopalophylla in flower
F. rhopalophylla subsp. aurantica

The only species currently recognised in this genus is Fenestraria rhopalophylla. Each leaf has an epidermal window, a transparent window-like area, at its rounded tip, it is for these window-like structures that the genus is named (Latin: fenestra).

Fenestraria rhopalophylla appears very similar to Frithia pulchra, though the leaves are a slightly different shape and F. rhopalophylla has yellow flowers, compared to the pink flowers of F. pulchra.
Distribution and habitat

In the wild, the plant commonly grows under sand, except for the transparent tips, which allow light into the leaves for photosynthesis. The plant produces optical fibers made from crystalline oxalic acid[2] which transmit light to subterranean photosynthetic sites.

Fenestraria rhopalophylla is native to Namaqualand in southern Africa and to Namibia. The plants generally grow in sandy or calciferous soils under low < 100 mm rainfall, that occurs in the winter.
Subspecies

F. rhopalophylla subsp. rhopalophylla with white flowers in autumn
F. rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca (=*F. aurantiaca) with yellow flowers

The status of Fenestraria aurantiaca is under review to determine whether its proper status is that of a full species or a subspecies of Fenestraria rhopalophylla.[3][4]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fenestraria rhopalophylla.
References

USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 19 August 2016
Featured plant: Fenestraria rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca, retrieved 25 August 2020
The Plant List (2010). Version 1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed June 2013)
Fenestraria - page on Succulent Guide

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Biology Encyclopedia

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