Last week started the year with our first group on the Fynbos Trail (www.walkerbaytrails.co.za). Being the middle of summer I really wasn’t expecting much in the way of flowers and was worried that the hikers would be disappointed by the lack of color and floral stories on the route. As you can see below I was totally wrong…the photos below were all taken within an area equivalent to about a rugby field near the summit of Grootberg Peak overlooking Flower Valley.
From left to right above is Aristea africana (Iridaceae), Chironia tetragona (Gentianaceae), Bobartia indica (Iridaceae) and Edmondia sesamoides (Asteraceae).
The beautiful Watsonia schlechteri shown below were flowering profusely, revitalized by the recent fire that burnt over this peak. The surrounding unburnt areas had plenty of Watsonia plants, but none were flowering.
The fields of bright limestone pincushion (Leucospermum pattersonii) which were so dominant on the lower slopes of the trail during autumn and early summer have been succeeded by the mountain pincushion Leucospermum cordifolium, which are flowering profusely on the peak at the moment.
A little bit more difficult to spot, but no less beautiful, is the ground hugging pincushion, Leucospermum prostratum. This species has sweetly scented flowerheads which are pollinated by rodents that are attracted by the yeasty scent, similar to freshly baked bread.
Quite unexpectedly, what I thought might be a dull summers day was filled with flowering gems, beautiful vistas and magnificent Overberg landscapes. The Fynbos never ceases to amaze…………………………..