Acting on the excitement of finding the very rare and endangered ‘black orchid’, Acrolophia ustulata, for the first time in the eastern part of Fernkloof Nature Reserve on 21 November 2014, the ‘orchid group’ went up the zig-zag behind Voëlklip again to look for the yellow form of the orchid.
Acrolophia ustulata comes in two colours, usually found in the same area, the yellow form comprising about 12% of populations. Reaching the exposed rocky outcrop between Mt. Cyclopia and De Mond se Kop the search for the very small and elusive plant was made more difficult by a very cold and unpleasant southeaster.
Amazingly, the flowers of some plants which had been found originally, were still in a good condition after 3 weeks. This time 12 ‘black orchids’ were located after a long search, and we were about to give up, when Eureka! One single yellow Acrolophia ustulata was found on the very steep east-facing slope. The old saying still rings true: Fortune favours the brave!