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Fynbos Diaries

October 30, 2019

Schizaea Pectinata

Commonly known as the Toothbrush Fern, is a delightful low growing, unusual looking fern which can be found growing on Gondwana Game Reserve amongst our fynbos vegetation. It favours nutrient-poor, acidic soil. Its vivid spring green colour and brush-like shape is definitive and easy to recognise while walking through the veld at this time of yea
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October 30, 2019

Clutia laxa

This is an interesting group of plants where there is usually a male and a female plants (referred to as dioecious) looking rather different from each other. They seem to be grazed by game occasionally. Clutia laxa can grow to be a shrub of about 1 meter tall that sprouts after fire. The creamy white flowers are about 5mm in diameter and are larg
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October 30, 2019

Case Moth

Finally, a view of the little caterpillar that lives within this fascinating construction! The Case moth is said to spend most of its life as a caterpillar. This is the larval stage of the moth that can last up to 2 years in some species. Once the structure is constructed the caterpillars never leave their cases. The moths that emerge from these
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October 30, 2019

Ursinia nana

Ursinia nana is a member of the daisy family and is also known by its common name of small yellow Margaret, which is geelmagriet in Afrikaans. This is a gorgeous shrub that flowers prolifically on the reserve. It is drought and wind resistant which allows it to thrive in various areas. When the flower produces fruit, the fruit is carried in the w
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October 30, 2019

Gladiolus floribundus

This is a very attractive Gladiolus with large flowers arranged in a one sided manner, usually on a branched stem. The colour of the flowers may vary from creamy pink to mauve with a dark stripe in the middle of each petal. The upper petal lobes of Gladiolus floribundus subsp. floribundus are larger than the lower lobes.
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October 30, 2019

Massonia echinata

Massonia echinata is also known by its common name of Krimpvarkie or Hedgehog lily. Here in this photo the flowers have just started opening. Once they are all open they are clustered in the centre at the base of the two leaves and all the little filaments look like the spikes on the back of a hedgehog. The flowers are sweetly scented and produce
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October 30, 2019

Euphorbia ericoides

Euphorbias are an interesting group of plants and there are said to be around 1500 different species of Euphorbias in the klein karoo! Their forms are highly variable, but the genus is easy to recognise as all the species exude a white sticky latex sap when injured. Plants are generally considered to be toxic, however some species are browsed by
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October 30, 2019

Lachenalia ensifolia

This tiny little plant is unlike other Lachenalia species the flowers are not carried on an upright stem but are clustered at the base of the two stems on the ground. The flowers are white to mauve and are almond scented and are predominantly pollinated by honeybees (Apis mellifera) and the painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui), which is often
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October 29, 2019

Moraea tripetala

Also known by its common names as, Blou-uintjie (blue edible bulb), Perde-uintjie (horse edible bulb), Small Blue Iris. Moraea tripetala can be seen in various places on the reserve and is tolerant of various environmental conditions. Its distinct characteristic is that it appears to only have three petals, however if you look closely there are a
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