On Friday, three Bot. Soc. members explored up the gulley above 17th ave. Voelklip.
The aim was to see if there were any more Erica genistifolia plants (Herbs Nov.11 2014) in the gulley and also to see the Wimmerella arabidea which Ronnie Hazell had found 5 days previously.
They were successful in finding numerous Wimmerella arabidea higher up the gulley in the rocks alongside the stream and also further away from the water.
Ronnie’s find had caused much discussion as this plant is not on the Fernkloof list, although it is on the website and in Geoffrey Andrew’s book – Fernkloof Plant names explained 2012.
Wimmerella arabidea (photo included) was Laurentia arabidea. It is a tufted perennial to 30cm and belongs to the family, Lobeliaceae. The leaves are mostly basal and slightly toothed. Individual flowers, in this case white, appear in ascending racemes in axils of toothed bracts. The plant flowers from Sept. to April in marshes, stream banks and seeps.
It is named after a Viennese botanist & Roman Catholic priest F.E.Wimmer (1881 – 1961)
The group also found a second Erica genistifolia plant 69 metres up from the first plant.
Lee Burman is recording specimens from both the Erica and the Wimmerella in the Fernkloof Herbarium.
Article by Liz Hutton; Photo Ronnie Hazell