Wild Flower Trips

Wild Flower Trips

The Local Flora (a brief primer)

The montane grassland is host to alpine and sub alpine species. The best viewings are generally experienced at higher altitudes from November till April. Tiffindell usually puts on a good show in early December and Naudesnek is at its best in February. 

The area is located above the tree line and the Ouhoud, Leucosidea sericea and parsley tree, Heteromorpha arborescens are the only real indigenous trees. The Karee Searsia, Blinkblaar Rhamnus prinoides and Buddlejas fill the shrub niche.

 As a response to our harsh conditions and short growing season there are many geophytic plants, those with bulbs,corms,rhizomes and tubers.  Some of the genera one may encounter are Gladiolus, Moraea and Dierama.

In February Gladiolus saundersii  which has large red blooms with white throat makings can even be seen around the village while the spectacular G.oppositiflorus more at home along the escarpment.

 Of the Moraeas or Vlei irises M.huttonii  is encountered in stream beds and massed displays of M.alticola can viewed at higher altitudes in December.

Dierama are known as angels’s fishing rods and the most spectacular species D.Robustum ,which can be two meters tall, is prolific in the summer months.

There are at least seven species of Kniphofia or red hot pokers, these flower at overlapping times and are pollinated by the Malachite sunbirds and mountain fancy butterflies. The early flowering (November) K. northiae is the largest and grows along the headwater stream banks and massed    K. Caulescens can be seen below Tiffindell in February.

One sees grey leaved bushes with yellow flowers growing along the roadside, the blossoms feel like paper and are colloquially known as everlastings, these are members of the Helichrysum genus. 

Possibly the most spectacular are the terrestial Orchids, among them, members of the Disa, Satyrium, Brownleea, Huttonea and Disperis genera with the best sightings in February, The orchids are restricted to higher areas because they require higher UV levels and can handle being covered with snow but not frost as experienced at lower levels.

The higher UV levels at altitude make it imperative that visitors cover up or use sun screen when going up into the mountains.

30 December 2019:

Albuca virens (subspecies virens). One of the lovely Monocots (lilies etc.)
This used to be abundant on the Common, but we’re happy to see it has found a refuge on our verge.


4 January 2020:

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Verge …. I discovered this amazing little plant this morning near the top end of the verge. It belongs to the Hyacinth family. This one belongs to the genus Dipcadi. I am not hundred percent sure of the species – probably Dipcadi brevifolium (two Dipcadis have been recorded in our region – D. viride and D. marlothii; but this one resembles neither!). I have never encountered Dipcadi before in this region, so a first – from our remarkable verge!! And maybe a new species to add to the botanical record of our area.
Local Resident

Guides available: 045 971 9003 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.