Rare Bulbs Found at Cloof

Aliens Give Way to Endangered Indigenous Species

Over the past few weeks many of the top botanists of the Fynbos region have set their sights on Cloof’s Burgherspost Nature Reserve. This was not only because of the spectacular show of daisies and rare bulbs that we usually have, but also the new populations of critically endangered species recently discovered in the reserve. A species is classified as critically endangered when strong evidence points towards the species declining to such a degree that the likelihood of it going extinct in the wild is very high.

The bulbs pictured below owe their re-discovery and subsequent proliferation entirely to our alien-clearing programme. If the Port Jacksons had remained, it’s likely that these species would have been lost to the Cape Floral Kingdom forever.
Babiana leipoldtii ‘Leipoldt se bobbejaantjie’ is known in only seven locations around Darling and nowhere else in the world. All seven sites have highly fragmented, tiny populations are under threat from encroachment by alien trees (Port Jacksons) and grasses (Cynodon dactylon ‘kweek‘). These little specialist bulbs grow in seasonally wet marshlands in low densities and flower for a brief period from early to mid-August. Last year only three individuals were counted on the reserve, but the early warm weather and intensive alien clearing program saw nearly 150 bulbs flowering in a tiny 2 ha area.
Babiana pygmaea ‘geelbobbejaantjie’ is even more rare than B. leipoldtii, previously known in only two locations, and on the brink of extinction. The locations are kept secret from the public, fearing illegal collecting of the very few remaining individuals by specialist collectors. Three individual plants where discovered in an area recently cleared of Port Jacksons and upon further investigation another site with at least 50 adult plants was discovered only a few metres away.
To come and see these amazing flowers for yourself (depending upon when you visit, there may be others), book a wildflower game drive at Cloof or e-mail your details and dates to nature@cloof.co.za. The drive lasts for about 2 hours and costs R150 per person (minimum two people and no drives on Sundays).

Flower drive at Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve

R27 Westcoast Road- Opposite Vygevallei Padstal on the Atlantic Ocean (23 km / 25 min from Darling)

Turn  left at Yzerfontein intersection and travel about 8 km towards Cape Town on R27.

JOIN US FOR A 2- 3 HOUR TRACTOR/BAKKIE FLOWER DRIVE  THROUGH THIS MAGNIFICENT NATURE RESERVE

BOOKING AND CONFIRMATION ESSENTIAL AS SEATS ARE LIMITED R50 pp

from  which  a donation will be made to Darling Wild Flower Society

PLEASE CONTACT STEYN AT 083 635 9929

(Between 09h00 and 17h00 to make your booking. )

During the weekend of the Darling Wild Flower Show

We meet at Jakkalsfontein Nature Reserve entrance at 11h30 on Friday 17th, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th.

Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen  and refreshments!

Darling Wildflower Show and Duckitt Nurseries Orchid Show

A blooming good time in Darling!

Darling Wildflower Show: 17 – 19 September 2010
It’s almost time for the mother of all Wild Flower Shows… Diarise 17 – 19 September 2010 and spend the weekend in Darling where you can embrace your sense of adventure and enjoy a flower safari, straight from nature. Expect to see a colourful display of wildflowers in a new landscaped design each year. Come and join in the fun at the show. There’s more to enjoy than just the flowers: Antique tractor displays, interesting talks, wine tasting, delicious country food, live performances and indigenous plant sales are also on the programme. Potjiekos and Braai meals are served in the marquee tent while Darling College Coffee Shop operating in the small hall serves light meals and something sweet. Entrance fee applicable.

Duckitt Nurseries Orchid Show: 16 – 19 September 2010
Duckitt Nurseries presents an annual orchid show to coincide with the Darling Wildflower Show in September. Thousands of orchid species, including rare and exotic hybrids are displayed. Large sales area for orchid plants and flowers. Tea room and refreshments available.

Duckitt Nurseries, the largest orchid nursery in the southern hemisphere, is situated on the farm Oudepost, just outside Darling. From May to November, on the first Saturday of each month, their doors are open to the public from 9h00 until 12h00. (Please Note: the greenhouses are closed at all other times).

Darling Spring Flower Report: 12 Aug 2010

LOCATION OF FLOWERS:

Best reserves in the Darling area at the moment for shows of flowers are the Tienie Versfeld reserve which is awash with white and yellow daisies and the Duckitt Nurseries reserve which is covered in blue flax.

Darling Renosterveld Reserve (At top of village behind the Darling Primary School);

Darling Groenekloof Reserve (R315 alongside the SPCA premises) Park at the SPCA and enter through the small gate in the corner;

Tienie Versfeld Reserve (R315 Darling – Yzerfontein);

Contreberg (along R307 to Mamre)

– at all the above reserves visitors need to park their cars and walk in the veld

Duckitt Nurseries Wildflower Reserve – farm road through reserve (R307 Darling – Mamre – in front of Duckitt Nursery); No buses

@ Cloof and Burgherspost Wine Estates

Wildflower game drives probably next week depending on how the flowers look. At the moment it’s still early, just here and there – nice for botanists interested in the little obscure flowers and rare and endangered things, not fields covered in daisies.

Minimum of three people @ R100 per person – the drive takes about two hours.

Contact Jacques vd Merwe  Conservation Manager

Tel: 022 492 2830   Fax: 086 653 7479  Cell: 084 606 3470

e-mail: nature@cloof.co.za www.burgherspost.co.za www.cloof.co.za

TYPE OF FLOWERS:

Tienie Versfeld

Awash with white and yellow daisies

Darling Renosterveld Reserve

Spiloxene (poublom), muggiegras (acrosanthes); sneeuvygie (pharnaceum) bokbaaivygies, yellow spiloxene; purple romulea; orange romulea; pink ixias just starting, bloukappie (sparaxis) butterfly lily (wachendorfia) will be out soon; lewertjie (indigofera); lachenalias also starting, moraeas, a few bloupypies, bontrokaandblom (hesperantha); hermannia (poproos); sandgeelgesiggie (hemimeris) Reserve is bushy and visitors must walk off the path to see best flowers – walk to right in front of reservoirs

Darling Groenekloof Reserve:

Hermannia (lanterns-Poproos), Arctotis (daisies), Drossera (Snotroesie), Chlorophytum, Moraeari tripetala (blue), Homeria flaccida (Moreaea), Indigofera (Lewertjie), Dimorphotheca pluvialis (rain daisies) , Muraltia, Arums, Lachenia, Oxalis, yellow Spiloxene – all looking good – people must walk through and around the reserve to see.

Duckitt Nurseries Reserve:

Masses of blue flax (Heliophila); white raindaisies (dimorphotheca pluvialis); yellow cape daisies; bloupypies (gladiolus gracilus); hermannia (poproos); bobbejaantjie (babiana); gifkool (chlorophytum undulatum) and in the dam rhysblommetjie (onixotis atricta)

Burgherspost Wine Estate & Cloof Wine Estate:

Sandveld

Bloupypies (Gladiolus carinatus) – widely distributed, one-one

Cape rain daisies (Dimorphoteca pluvialis) – starting to come out now

Botterblomme (Arctotis breviscapa) – here and there, not abundant

Babiana ambigua – a beautiful little bulb starting to flower now – never abundant, but nice to see.

Gymnodiscus capularis – weedy – loads on the old fields – tiny yellow flower

Ganskos – Cotula turbinatata – also a weedy – loads along the sides of the roads and on old fields

Sugarbush (Protea repens & Protea burchelli) – almost at the end of its season.

Wetlands

Geel pypies (Gladiolus trichonemifolius) – dense patch in the wetlands – smells really nice

Leipoldt-se-bobbejaantjie (Babiana leipoldtii) – Critically endangered – quite a few – one-one

Sterretjies (Spiloxene spp.) – patches here and there.

Bleek Viooltjies (Lachenalia mutabilis) – nice little bulb flowering in patches here and there.

Leucodendron lanigerum – flowers throughout the year, but looks at its best now – not a colorful shrub, but very rare and has some interesting value.

FLOWER SHOWS:

Name: Darling Wildflower Show

Date & Time: 17 – 19 September 2010

9am  – 5 pm  daily

Venue: Darling Sports Club

Admission: Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY

on Friday

Contact detail: Enquiries 022 492 3361 info@darlingtourism.co.za

Stalls:     083 655 4237

Name: Duckitt Nurseries Orchid Show

Date & Time: 16 – 19 September 2010

Venue: Oudepost Farm

Admission: Adults R25 scholars R15 / Special discount for pensioners R15 ONLY

on Thursday and Friday

Contact detail: 022 492 2606 info@duckittnurseries.com