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.
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.
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:
Lots of Agapanthus campanulatus was in flower.
Schizoglossum bidens subsp pachyglossum
We also spotted some splendid little critters – like this red and black grasshopper
Sally Johnson, Eve Hughes and Christeen Grant discuss the day’s findings.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to join the Midlands CREW group.