Summer Walk on Gartmore

Peter Warren joins the regular Midlands walks often, delighting in the differences each season brings to our grasslands and forests.  He reports on some of the flowers spotted during the February walk on Gartmore in Karkloof.

Water mint (Mentha aquatica). I have only ever seen this growing in the water, previously.

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

Leafy Flowered  Ipomoea ( Ipomoea crassipes var. crassipes) is one of the indigenous morning glories. Sometimes the flower is mauve as well.

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

The next two are interesting because both are KZN endemics (as Gareth suggested) and concentrated in the Midlands. The first is  Small White Poker (Kniphofia buchananii). I do not know what the bugs are but it would be very interesting to find out. (Ed’s note: Beetles are probably Fruit Chafers)

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

The second is Slender Poker (Kniphofia laxiflora). and not K. gracilis as I wrongly thought while on the walk. I have only seen these in the boulder fields around Yarrow Falls although it is not considered particularly rare. (Ed: learn more about K. laxiflora at http://www.dargleconservancy.org.za/wildflowerarchive/wfa032013.php)

Slender Poker (Kniphofia laxiflora). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

The Hibiscus is what you correctly identified as Common Dwarf Wild Hibiscus (Hibiscus aethiopicus)

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

The grass parasite is always very pretty – Silvery Sopubia (Sopubia cana var. cana)

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

Fishbone Dwarf Cassia (Chamaecrista mimosoides) Very much indigenous but has a global widespread distribution.

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

The next is a puzzle to me because there appear to be only two Thunbergia creepers, Back Eyed Susan (T. alata) and  White Thunbergia (T.pondoensis). It is not the former, so it must be the latter however it is not reported in this region. I have tracked the controversy back to 1906 and there does not appear to be any progress since then. Until it can be resolved I will stay with my tentative identification. (Ed’s Note: What about Thunbergia dregeana?)

(). Robyn's Yarrow Falls Walk.

There were lots more I did not photograph including the small yellow pea with the red stripes.  I thoroughly enjoyed the walk.

Next walk to Yarrow Falls in Karkloof will take place on Wednesday 5 March. Contact Robyn to book 082 802 8949  www.karkloofconservation.org.za

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6 thoughts on “Summer Walk on Gartmore

  1. David Clulow

    The commentary with photos is thoroughly enjoyable and to be commended. The interaction from the editor is welcome and the dialogue is most sympathetically received as being exactly what one experiences while out wildflower fossicking

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  2. Karkloof Conservancy

    Thanks Peter! You are such an asset to the Midlands. You are incredibly thorough, take gorgeous pictures and document the biodiversity wonderfully. Robyn really appreciates the input that she receives from her regular walkers who have a botanical heart and mind.

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  3. Peter. R. Warren

    The confusion between T. dregeana and T. pondoensis goes back a long way to 1906 in NATAL PLANTS V4.BY J.MEDLEY WOOD. My observations show a plant that twirls around sticks and tree trunks and is a creeper while Pooley refers to T. dregeana as scrambler, But is shown as a creeper in Flora of Zimbabwe. So I starting to come round to Nikki’s point of view.

    And thanks Nikki for the comments, it makes the blog a alive discussion.

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