Friday, 22 April 2016

A day for Nerines at Ngele

Having been alerted by DAFF official Mr. Roberston Madwe to the fact that the Nerines growing next to the N2 Highway had started flowering, we arranged a trip to assess the four populations we know in the Ngele area. One small population of N. appendiculata is close to the N2 - so close that the plants are often damaged by roadside brush-cutting activities. These plants were particularly robust as can be seen below.

Nerine appendiculata
Nerine appendiculata
We found a very early Cyrtanthus breviflorus flowering near these Nerines.

Cyrtanthus breviflorus
We then drove past a population of the much more threatened Nerine bowdenii subsp. bowdenii - this population is growing on the bank at the side of the N2 and it is too dangerous to stop here. A little further on we came to a much larger population of this species, although, as the plants grow in amongst rather tall woody shrubs, the size of the population is not amenable to counting.

Nerine bowdenii subsp. bowdenii
Nerine bowdenii subsp. bowdenii
This is certainly the largest known population of this species.  Last year a search in previously known localities for the species in the Eastern Cape did not yield any plants, so Ngele may have the only populations of Nerine bowdenii subsp. bowdenii. 

Our last stop (delayed by an inopportune puncture on the way up) was on the plateau near Belfast Lookout where the small N. appendicluata population was also flowering well.

Participants: Anne S, Graham G, Kate G, Isabel J, Ruth C, Timo vd N, and Uschi T.

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