Happy Valley Wildflower Day

6 January 2013

This combined CREW / BotSoc wildflower day started on the 9 January 2005 as a Boston Conservancy wildflower day. Boet and Hester Venter who owned the farm were keen to share the wealth and diversity of flowers in an amazing part of their farm. It became an annual event in the first week of January; 2013 is the ninth time we have revelled in the flowers found there. Ivanhoe Farms bought the farm in 2011. John Campbell, the general manager, was willing to continue the event and conserving this section of the farm. It may become one of the areas to have an agreement within the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme.happy valley

The conserved area includes several habitats, grassland, stream, wetland, rocky gorge and exposed rock faces. A considerable record has been built up over the years, each year new flowering plants have been found, and a total of approximately 195 species have been recorded.

01 Happy Valley botanising IMG_8192 C Grant

A ‘special’, Disa scullyi was found a couple of years ago, but not reappeared again and still needs to be verified. Despite the good rain, perhaps as a result of cool cloudy conditions the fourteen enthusiasts only found about 80 of the recorded species, but we did find some ‘new’ ones!   Christeen Grant compiled this report and took the flower photographs. Neobulosia tysonii:

Neobolusia tysonii IMG_8231 C Grant

Lots of Agapanthus campanulatus was in flower.

Agapanthus campanulatus IMG_8308 C GrantProtea dracomontana

Protea dracomontana IMG_8289 C Grant

Sebaea sedoides

Sebaea sedoides IMG_8180 C Grant

Satyrium longicauda

Satyrium longicauda IMG_8166 C Grant

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio IMG_8306 C Grant

Schizoglossum bidens subsp pachyglossum

Schizoglossum bidens subsp pachyglossum IMG_8251 C Grant (1)

Jamesbritennia breviflora

Jamesbrittenia breviflora IMG_8276 C Grant

Sisyanthus virgatus

Sisyranthus virgatusIMG_8183 C GrantChlorophytum cooperi

Chlorophytum cooperi IMG_8216 C Grant

Euphobia clavarioides

Euphorbia clavarioides IMG_8202 C Grant

We also spotted some splendid little critters – like this red and black grasshopper

Red and Black Grasshopper IMG_8223 C Grant

And this KatydidKatydid sp IMG_8256 C Grant

Sally Johnson, Eve Hughes and Christeen Grant discuss the day’s findings.

identifying species in Happy Valley

The morning started out with clear sunny skies but rapidly clouds built into a thunderstorm and fat rain drops chased us home, fortunately not as severe as the storms experienced in Pietermaritzburg on the same day and only after everyone had enjoyed a picnic lunch.

Contact Nikki  at info@midlandsconservancies.org.za should you wish to join the Midlands CREW group.

3 thoughts on “Happy Valley Wildflower Day

  1. Pingback: Boston Wildlife Sightings – January 2013 | Midlands Conservancies Forum

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