09 December 2008

Grassland flowers of Umfula Nkosi

Here are some of the treasures I found in a single, rainy weekend on Umfula Nkosi (which means "River God") with David Graham and Gordon Mansell, who are part owners of this amazing farm in the Roossenekal/Steenkampsberg area, and their family and friends. The farm falls in the Sekhukhuneland Centre of Floral Endemism (see http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/agpc/doc/Show/SAfrica/sapaper/saessay.htm for a good article) and it really is a spectacularly beautiful place.

Zantedeschia pentlandii, one of our three yellow arums) grows on the slopes leading down to the river. Endemic to this area, it is celebrated in nearby Roossenekal in the annual spring "Yellow Arum Lily Festival".

We also found a some pink arums, Zantedeschia rehmannii growing in the grasslands at the top of the farm.

Other highlights were finding Moraea triffida (the flower is about the size of a R2 coin) and, in the fading light of a stormy evening, seeing Gladiolus longicollis subsp. platypetalus with its scented petals. (Thanks to John Manning for help with identification.)

Another surprise was the spectacular Pelargonium luridum that grows in the tall grass.

I will post more photos and information soon....

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