The Hermanus Erica Is Down But Not Out

February is Erica month and, in particular, flowering time for our endangered species, Erica hermani (the Hermanus Erica) .

Last week we set off on our annual hunt for the dainty purple flowered E hermani on the mountain slopes above Hermanus Heights and were delighted to find it, sadly reduced in numbers, but those that we did find were budding and healthy, among their tougher neighbours, E rhopalantha, E labialis and E longiaristata.

The SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute) experts have recently, on the findings of CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers ) changed the botanical rating of this little erica on the Red Data List of South African Plants from Critically Endangered  (CR)  to Endangered  (EN) even though we have reported a diminishing spread in its preferred habitat on the Raed-na-Gael mountain range.   We can only hope after this latest report the rating will be upped to CR again – especially in view of the continued planning of a mountain bypass road in exactly that area.

Erica hermani

Erica hermani

Text by Geraldine Gardiner.   Image by Sandy Jenkins.  Translated by A van der Spuy

Editor’s Note:   At a recent meeting the Provincial Minister of Public Works and Roads, Robin Carlisle, advised that the bypass road would not be going ahead.

DIE HERMANUS ERIKA HET GEKWYN MAAR NIE VERDWYN NIE

Februarie is Erika-maand en, in besonder, blomtyd vir ons bedreigde specie Erica hermani (die Hermanus erika).

Ons het verlede week op ons jaarlikse soektog na die fyn pers blommetjie, E. hermani, teen die berghang bokant Hermanus Heights vertrek, en ons was verheug toe ons dit raakloop – deerlik verminder in getalle, maar die oorgeblywenes gesond in bot tussen die sterker bure, E. rhopalantha, E. labialis en E. longiaristata.

Die SANBI (Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Biodiversiteits-Instituut) se kenners het onlangs na aanleiding van die BSBV ( Bewaarders van Skaars en Bedreigde Veldblomme) se bevinding die botaniese gradering van hierdie klein erika op Die Rooilys van Suid-Afrikaanse Plante verander van EG (Ernstig in Gevaar) na G (In Gevaar) al het ons verslag gedoen van ‘n kwynende verspreiding in sy verkose habitat op die Raed-na-Gaelbergreeks.  Ons kan slegs hoop dat die gradering, na hierdie afgelope verslag, weer opwaerts sal neig tot EG – veral met die oog op die voortgesette beplanning van ‘n bergverbypad presies in daardie gebied.

Geraldine Gardiner    Vertaaling deur Andre van der Spuy

 

About roncorylus

He who wants the kernel must crack the nut
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2 Responses to The Hermanus Erica Is Down But Not Out

  1. jobiska says:

    So important to keep recording the localities of these special plants.

  2. Anina Lee says:

    Thanks Ron, the posts are always interesting.

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