Fynbos Diaries

June 11, 2018

Protea lanceolata

_DSC9043 This is another wonderful find! This is Protea lanceolata also known as the Lance-leaf Sugarbush. It is a beautiful erect shrub that grows up to 4m tall. One of the striking things about this protea is that the new stems are red and hairless. The flowerheads are an inverted cone shape and look untidy when open. The flowerhead also appears to have w
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June 11, 2018

Phylica velutina

_DSC8085  Another special plant discovered on Gondwana! Phylica velutina is a near threatened species and endemic to the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains. There are quite a few plants growing in previously burnt areas on the reserve. They are often found in Waboomveld and moist Protea fynbos. This shrub only grows to about 30 cm tall. Its most telling
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May 31, 2018

Beetles in Blooms!

_DSC6379 Fynbos is such a diverse biome, with so many fascinating life cycles happening within it. While exploring Gondwana Game Reserve we came across a stand of Protea neriifoilia and noticed that fresh flowerheads were laden with beetles. It was fascinating to see that the beetles occurred at different depths within the flowerheads depending on what th
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May 25, 2018

Hermannia filifolia

_DSC7046 Hermannia filifolia, flowers are small only 10mm wide you will see some flowering along protea drive they look like beautiful little red gems in the veld! Very palatable to stock and game. The flowers have an unusual taste and can be added to salads. You will mostly see these flowering in spring, but unusually there are some in flower at the moment
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May 25, 2018

Scabiosa columbaria

_DSC7006-Scabiosa-columbaria Scabiosa columbaria, a beautiful plant flowers most of the year, the flowers vary from pink to mauve in colour. The Zulu name for this plant is Ibheka. The leaves or fleshy roots of this plant are used as a traditional colic and heart burn remedy and the powdered roots are used as baby powder.
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May 25, 2018

Oxalis pendulifolia

_DSC6994-oxalis-pendulifolia Oxalis pendulifolia, also locally known as suring as it has a sharp sour lemon-like taste. On the reserve you will often see the Eland eating this plant. Mole rats, francolin and porcupines love eating the bulbs. The leaves, flowers and flower stalks can be used to flavour and decorate salads.
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May 25, 2018

Boophane disticha

_DSC7030-boophone_disticha Boophane disticha also know as Gifbol, has been used as a medicinal bulb for many years. The outer scales of the bulbs were used to dress wounds while the thick fluid that oozes from the bulb when cut, was used as arrow poison mainly for small game. Hunters would make a thick gum like substance by combining the poison from B. disticha with snake ve
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May 25, 2018

Prismatocarpus candolleanus

_DSC7009-Prismatocarpus-candolleanus Prismatocarpus candolleanus.... This little plant has been a challenge to identify as all the records I can find have poor visuals, however I finally feel like I may have worked it out! You will see this delightful little plant in flower all over the reserve at the moment. The flowers are light blue or white and clumped along branch ends. The stems
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