Whats in Bloom!

November 1, 2012

The spring flowers are out in carpets of oranges, yellows, purples and reds. As species such as the conspicuous Proteas become latent by the passing of winter, we are greeted by a fresh array of blooming plants. The increase in time of day has stimulated various plant species to flower and reproduce. The new season has encouraged rapid growth from underground rootstocks, and more so the geophytes. Renosterveld is well known for its bulb species that are ever so prevalent on Gondwanas’ lower lying areas.

Conspicuous species erupting with new life amongst the dormant Fynbos include the striking yellow wart stemmed pin cushions (Leucospermum cuneiforme). The first description of this species was made in the early 1600s by a botanist named Oldenland on an expedition through the present day Gondwana on route to the Attakwaskloof. The rugged Outeniqua & Langeberg mountains posed a challenge for early settlers who wished to move from the coastal regions into the hinterland. Early navigators such as Oldenland would have to traverse the hazardous trek through the Attakwaskloof, which was originally a thoroughfare for herds of elephants.

Yellow Pin Cushion

Other flowering species includes the candelabra lily (Brunsvigia josephinae.) This notable species is  known to have certain medicinal uses. It is believed that the dry bulb tunics can be used as a wound dressing. This species also has strong cultural value as It is known that young Xhosa men use the tunics as plasters after circumcision.

Gondwana Candelabra lilly

Candelabra Lily

The Babiana (Babiana ambigua) are also in full bloom.  Babiana is derived from Dutch word “baviaantjie” or Afrikaans “bobiaantjie” for small baboon as it believed that they feed on the corms.

Babiana_ambigua gondwana

Babiana Ambigua

The Dolls Rose (Hermania pinnata) has started to flower. This species is often concealed by more dominant species. The common name Doll’s Rose (Poprosie in Afrikaans) for the genus refers to the way the petals are twisted so the flower resembles a miniature rose.

gondwana Dolls rose

Dolls Rose

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