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The currently recognised species 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).
F. 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 which transmit light to subterranean photosynthetic sites.
- F. rhopalophylla subsp. rhopalophylla with white flowers in autumn
- F. rhopalophylla subsp. aurantiaca (=*F. aurantiaca) with yellow flowers
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