Disa uniflora


A quick foray into Vogelgat Reserve this afternoon to see the Red Disa was everything we wanted.  Never before have I been able to photograph 10 blooms in close proximity to each other.  It really was magnificent!  Adding to the fun of the afternoon, we had a downpour – not typical Western Cape rain, but more like a monsoon with large drops raining down and absolutely drenching us.  Of course this started just as we reached the flowers, so we had to be quick with the camera to avoid any damage!

DSCF1147 Disa uniflora

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New Link Added

I have added a link to the Kogelberg Botanical Society to this blog.  Just click on it under ‘Blogroll’ on the right hand side and you will go through to an interesting site.

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BEE happy in Fernkloof!


Image by Paula Combrink

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From The Editor’s Desk

Readers will be delighted to be able to read new material by members, as there has been a positive response to my appeal for articles on matters of interest to the Botanical Society.  Thank you and keep up the good work!

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Fernkloof Activities

The Hermanus Botanical Society hosted an enthusiastic SAARP group this morning at Fernkloof.  While enjoying their tea and muffins, they were treated to not one but three mini seminars on Life in the Reserve.  Frank Woodvine reminded them of the unique position of the Cape Floral Kingdom in the world, with a density of diverse species second to none.  Pat Miller brought home the importance of fire in the preservation of this diversity, stressing that there is a real problem with such a Reserve on the urban fringes of a town.  Understandably, residents would wish fire safely away from their properties, and yet also wish to enjoy the beauty of fynbos within walking distance. Finally, Vic Hamilton-Attwell had his ‘class’ passing around an Acrea Garden butterfly flapping away inside a small transparent container while he related the amazing story of the cyanide-laced leaves of the Kiggelaria, tolerated by the Acrea caterpillars, which are able to store the cyanide out of the way in their spines!

Article by Deirdre Richards, Image by Daphne Hutton



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Erica Time

Here are a few of the Ericas we have seen in Fernkloof so far this month. As Belle used to say, February is Erica time!

Here are a few examples of what we have seen either picking for the Visitors’ Centre or on a Fire monitoring walk.

The Erica hermani is very special as it is only found in the Hermanus area, hence the species name, hermani.

Another special one is Erica ioniana, named in honour of Dr Ion Williams who discovered the species while conducting  a survey of the flora of his Vogelgat Nature Reserve.  We are fortunate to have this Erica in Fernkloof.

The Erica williamsiorum, also named after Dr Williams, was found in very close proximity.

The spectacle of these beautiful plants is a privilege to enjoy!

Article and Images by Liz Hutton

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Appeal to Members

This site is only as good as the members want it to be.  I can write the odd article, but I am supposed to be an editor, not a one-man-band!  There must be so much out there that would be of interest to the BotSoc readers, and I ask you, please, to make contributions, so that Herbs can remain topical and relevant!

Perhaps the someone in the group that walks every Wednesday has seen something of interest or taken a spectacular photograph.  How about sharing it through this medium.  All you have to do is write a short note and mail it to me at corylus@hermanus.co.za

I look forward to your contributions!     Ronnie

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