The first flowering plants we came across were tall Indigofera tristis with pink flowers, unlike most other Indigofera species which have red flowers. Nearby was a single Gladiolus ecklonis. At the edge of a rock plate a Tephrosia bachmannii posed, showing leaves and flowers.
A short distance further we were treated to a colony of Watsonia densiflora. Walking a little further brought us to a point where we could look down the the Umtamvuna River which was flowing strongly. On these steep south-east facing slopes we found several clusters of Kniphofia gracilis.
|The view down into the Umtamvuna River gorge|
The next flash of colour which drew our attention was Aloe maculata and almost hidden in the grass was a tiny Sebaea bojeri.
We followed the slope downwards until we reached the scarp edge with forest growing below. At the forest fringe we found Polygala gazensis and Loxostylis alata in flower. Crossing back over the grassland we found Searsia fastigata growing in a small watercourse and when we reached the lower edge of Smedmore forest we were dazzled by the many flowers of Riocreuxia torulosa, some of which had opened up more fully than we had seen before.
|The rocky floor of the forest area|
|Larva of Holocerina smilax|
We decided to return to the vehicle through the forest and following a rather circuitous route round the many large boulders, managed to find our way back to the spot where we normally enter the forest. As it was still quite early we decided to explore the upper grassland and its forest edge. We immediately came across a large tangle of Pilogyne scabra, and almost hidden in the grass was Alectra orobanchoides.
Along the scarp edge we found both Combretum edwardsii and Combretum kraussii in fruit, the latter being particularly colourful.
We finished off the day by checking on an Atalaya natalensis, one of many we had seen in the forest but this was the only one that evidenced any sign of flowering.