Sodwana Bay is in the north-east corner of KwaZulu Natal, not far from the border with Mozambique but is part of the Maputaland Centre of Endemism and falls, as does the Pondoland Centre of Endemism, within the Maputaland-Pondoland Region. Last week we accompanied Kevin Balkwill, curator of the Moss Herbarium at Wits University, and some of the Durban CREW team to explore the Osabeni grasslands just south of the Sodwana Bay campsite. This is a relatively poorly collected area and this was the second visit to the grassland aimed at assessing the species diversity there.
As we heard that Kevin Balkwill was expected to arrive late, along with Hlengi and Sachin we organised access to the Osabeni grassland and drove a short way down the sandy track where we stopped to look at some white flowers. These turned out to be a suffrutex form of Ancylobotrys petersiana. These proved to be a regular sight over the next day or so - growing in scattered colonies.
|Ancylobotrys petersiana - suffrutex form|
|Freesia laxa subsp. azurea|
|Gymnosporia markwardii fruits|
|Ambitious dung beetle|
|Commpihora neglecta in fruit|
|Raphionacme lucens tuber and shoot|
|Raphionacme lucens flower|
|Landolphia kirkii in Hymenocardia ulmoides|
|Bridelia cathartica fruits|
|Painted Reed Frog|
|The team at Lake Bhangazi|
Participants: Graham G, Hlengiwe M, Kate G, Kevin B, Lindsay B, Sachi D.