Sunday, 11 February 2018

Showcasing Pondoland endemics for a north-coast dendrologist (Thursday 8 February, 2018)

Francois du Randt, a well known tree lover and sand forest specialist from the False Bay area near Hluhluwe in northern KZN, arranged to join the group on our regular Thursday walk. We decided to take him to Manilkara Meander in the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve where we were sure we would be able to show him a good range of Pondoland Endemic species.

Right where we parked the vehicles we found the first endemic species, the creeping form of Tephrosia bachmannii, and this was accompanied by several yellow-flowered Rafnia elliptica.

Tephrosia bachmannii

Rafnia elliptica
We walked across the grassland, pointing out another two endemic species, Leucadendron spissifolium var. oribinum  and Eriosemopsis subanisophila before we reached the forest edge. On the forest margin we found Hibiscus pedunculatus and saw Strychnos gerrardii and Manilkara nicholsonii.

Hibiscus pedunculatus

A little further on we saw Loxostylis alata, Ochna arborea and Adenopodia spicata. Working our way under branches at the forest edge we saw a flowering Ceropegia linearis and a few Gasteria crouchii. In the shade were several Streptocarpus haygarthii in flower and at the grassy edge we saw flowers on a Thunbergia dregeana. The Colpoon compressum were just starting to flower.

Adenopodia spicata
Ceropegia linearis

Streptocarpus haygarthii

Thunbergia dregeana

Colpoon compressum 

Anne clambered in under some trees and found Liparis remota  in flower and a single Hypoxis membranaceus.

Liparis remota

Hypoxis membranaceus

We pointed out Homalium rufescens, Strychnos decussata, Robsonodendron eucleiforme and a Dovyalis lucida as we worked our way along the cliff edges, enjoying the view down into the Umtamvuna River gorge.

Once back at the vehicles we decided to drive the short distance to Smedmore and have our lunch in the shade of the forest, We were greeted at the entrance to the forest by a splendid display of Riocreuxia torulosa. In the forest we found Bachmannia woodii just starting to flower and on the forest floor were numbers of Justicia tubulosa subsp. tubulosa (formerly Siphonoglossa leptantha)

Riocreuxia torulosa

Bachmannia woodii

Justicia tubulosa subsp. tubulosa (Siphonoglossa leptantha)

The Stenoglottis fimbriata on the rocks were showing signs of starting to push out flower spikes and we found the remnants of Disperis lindleyana. There was a Carissa wyliei - another species on Francois wish list (now sunk into Carissa bispinosa) - and Gail found a Crocosmia aurea up above us on the cliff face.

Carissa wyliei

Crocosmia aurea

As we drove away from Smedmore we noticed a good display of Watsonia densiflora on the slope opposite us. We stopped on the way back to pull out several of the very aggressive invasive species Campuloclinium macrocephalum  growing on the road verge next to the reserve fence.

Display of Watsonia densiflora

Participants: Anne S, Dorothy M, Elaine L, Francois du R, Gail B-W, Graham G, Kate G, Maggie A.

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