Monday, 15 August 2016

A brief grassland sojourn at Oribi Flats

As we were up at Oribi Flats with a little time to spare, Kate and I decided to pay our grassland patches a quick visit to see what had emerged since our last visit at the beginning of July this year. There has been good rain in the interim and the flowers were showing their appreciation.

Probably the most prominent of these (apart from the Berkheyas) was Euphorbia natalensis.
Euphorbia natalensis
Another interesting find was several clumps of Callilepis leptophylla. This species has a disjunct distribution with the bulk of the population in the north-east of the country; it is far less common in the Pondoland region than Callilepis laureola, and so far, we have only recorded it in the Oribi Flats area.

Callilepis leptophylla
The first of this season's Cyanotis speciosa was proudly showing off its yellow sparks protruding from a cluster of pink fluff - always an eye-catching display.

Cyanotis speciosa 
The first of the Indigofera grata shrubs were starting to flower. In a week or so these small shrubs should be spectacular.
Indigofera grata
Other pink flowers out in these patches were Oxalis semiloba and Vigna unguiculata.

Oxalis semiloba
Vigna unguiculata
We also saw the occasional Argyrolobium rotundifolium with its yellow-turning-orange flowers.

Argyrolobium rotundifolium
Along the back road to Izingolweni (much drier valley bushveld than we normally explore) we found a Schotia brachypetala bursting with buds and a little further along were several Buddleja dysophylla in flower - the first time we have seen this species in the field.

Schotia brachypetala
Buddleja dysophylla
Participants: Graham G, Kate G.

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