Monday, 20 February 2017

A depleted group - walk two trails at Beacon Hill (Thurday 16 February 2017)

With several of our usual group members being away or having other unavoidable commitments, only three of us gathered together at Beacon Hill on a very hot and steamy morning. After some discussion of how the Msikaba survey went, we decided to split up, with Dorothy and Uschi heading inland towards the Beacon and Graham starting down along the Porcupine Trail to see whether the Corymborkis corymbis were flowering in the forest.

The search for the Corymborkis was disappointing as only a few plants were found and none appeared to have flowered this season. At the entrance to the forest Graham was momentarily misled into thinking he had found an unknown Ipomoea by a Hewittia malabarica growing high into the canopy. Below this was a Hypoestes forskaolii.

Hewittia malabarica
Hypoestes forskaolii 
The only flowering occupant in the understory of this part of the forest was a single Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. kathrinae.

Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae
 In the grassland along the path back to the offices were several flowering plants. The first was a yellow form of Tinnea galpinii that has only been seen at Beacon Hill, sometimes growing alongside the much more common deep maroon form.

Tinnea galpinii (yellow form)
Scrambling over a rock was an Oldenlandia affinis with tiny blue flowers, and nearby was a clump of blue-flowered Psoralea glabra.

Oldenlandia affinis
Psoralea glabra
At the stream crossing was a Tricalysia capensis with clusters of bright orange fruits.

Tricalysia capensis
Back out in the sunshine and the grassland were several Tephrosia polystachya, and near the offices was a small cluster of Exochaenium grande.

Tephrosia polystachya
Exochaenium grande
Dorothy and Uschi also saw a good selection of flowers on their walk, the most notable being Aspidoglossum ovalifolium. We last saw this plant in the same area three years ago and searches since then have been unsuccessful.

Aspidoglossum ovalifolium (Photo: D McIntyre)
Participants: Dorothy M, Graham G, Uschi T.

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