Thursday, 7 September 2017

A different Jolivet grassland and forest (Monday 4 September, 2017)

We had word from the farmer that he had burned a grassland last burned four years ago and the flowers had started emerging. We were joined on this occasion by Suvarna Parbhoo and her team from the Durban CREW office as we intended to use the outing as an opportunity for our annual planning meeting. 

The farmer took us to a road that followed the side of a valley, heading into forest and down towards the confluence of his stream with the Mtwalume River.

We elected to follow the track down into the forest for a while and we took time to add several tree species to the plant list for the farm. There were few trees flowering but we did come across some with fruit.

Canthium ciliatum fruit

Cassipourea gummiflua var verticillata fruits

Grewia lasiocarpa fruit

At the side of the track we found an Erica in flower with thousands of tiny white and pink flowers and on the other side of the track there was a Dioscorea cotinifolia with its upright flower spikes. Another roadside flowering plant was Osyridicarpos schimperianus.

Erica sp.

Dioscorea cotinifolia flower spikes

Osyridicarpos schimperianus

Baking in the sun just below the track was an Erythrina latissima just starting to extrude its terminal flower buds but otherwise looking very dormant.

View across the forested valley
Erythrina latissima with new terminal buds

We made our way back to the vehicle and had lunch and the impromptu planning meeting in the shade at the side of the stream, sitting under an Alsophila dregei.

New leaves emerging from Alsophila dregei
After lunch we explored the grassland on the opposite side of the valley. The dominant flower here was Ursinia saxitilis, looking much taller than the Ursinia tenuiloba we find at the coast. Here we were observed by a small herd of zebra.

Ursinia saxitilis

Zebra amongst the Ursinia saxitilis keeping an eye on us

We found both male and female plants of Acalypha glandulifolia flowering near one another, and at the top of the hill was a newly emerged Boophone disticha. There were also a few Eulophia hians and several Gladiolus wilsonii.

Female Acalypha glandulifolia flowers

Male Acalypha glandulifolia flowers

Boophone disticha

Participants:  Anne S., Graham G., Hlengi M., Kate G., Renira B., Suvarna M., Uschi T.

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