Wild Flowers of Rhodes Village

Wild Flowers of Rhodes Village

Rhodes Village is surrounded by an extensive montane grassland biome, which includes exquisite alpine and sub-alpine plants. Surprisingly, many are to be found within easy walking distance on the nearby commonage, or Rhodes Common, as Brendan Cole calls it, in his clear and engaging Botanical guide to the local wild flowers of Rhodes Village & neighbouring valleys in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg.

Lobelia flaccida on the moorland area of the Rhodes Common overlooking the Village (Brendan Cole)

A thick tuft of grass here, an open rock sheet there, the banks of a damp gully somewhere in between; these are the surprising habitats where flowers find their niche.

Introduction p.11

Each flower in the main section is appealingly illustrated with a selection of superb photographs. Entries include: Identifying in the field; Where to look; Nature notes (such as botanical history, derivation of names, collectors, wider distribution, interesting attributes); In the garden, and Medicinal and cultural uses.

Shorter entries are found in the section Further Rhodes Common flora.

Essentially a botanical guide, the book is organised alphabetically with family names first, then the respective genera within each family, then the individual species within the genera.

Enthusiasts of botanical taxonomy and drawings, and accounts of scientific history of the flowers, will particularly enjoy the section Protologues and Botanical Data. Also the sections describing Plant Families and Genera.

Can’t tell your arista from your elaiosome? The Glossary of Terms will explain.

Rhodes Village lies close to the recently proposed NE Cape Grasslands National Park, a collaboration between the South African National Parks (SANParks) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The concept is one of stewardship by private and communal landowners, in a working agricultural landscape. Brendan Cole’s book will be a invaluable resource for identifying plants for biodiversity conservation and ecological management of the area.

Cole, Brendan. 2019. Botanical guide to the local wild flowers of Rhodes Village and neighbouring valleys in the Eastern Cape Drakensberg. [s.l.]: Cole Pressworks. ISBN 978-0-620-82509-2