Fynbos Diaries

July 17, 2018

Agathosma ovata

_DSC9746-landscape  Also known as Basterboegoe or false buchu. Can grow upto 2m tall. The leaves are from strap-shaped to round and strongly scented when crushed. The flowers can be white, pink or purple. Buchu was an important part of the Khio culture in the Cape. It is still used as a general health tonic and people often chew the leaves fresh or dried as well
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July 17, 2018

Phylica lanata

_DSC9520 Phylica lanata is flowering all over the reserve at the moment. It really transforms the landscape as there is so much of it. This shrub grows up to 1m high, but the most interesting part of this plant for me are the tiny hairy flowers! Every little pinkish red flower is covered in white hairs on the underside. Leaves are about 7mm long and 4mm wid
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July 17, 2018

Pelargonium cordifolium

_DSC9579 Also known as the heart-leaved pelargonium or Hartblaarmalva in Afrikaans. It can grow upto 1m tall. The leaves have lovely toothed margins and are “white” hairy below and a dark green above. You will notice that there are usually a few old leaves on the plant that are orange or red which is typical of this species. The leaves are not strongly
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July 17, 2018

Amphithalea violacea

_DSC9746  A lovely shrub with a striking cluster of flowers that are pale pink with a dark purple-pink keel. It can grow to 1m tall. It is a widespread species occurring in Waboomveld, Renosterveld and Arid and Moist Protea Fynbos. It is apparently highly palatable to game! It would be interesting to see what animals on Gondwana enjoy eating Amphithale
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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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