This beauty is flowering at the moment on Grootbos. It has bright red-orange flowers that are pollinated by sunbirds. It is most commonly seen after fire as the fire stimulates flowering but it can bloom in mature vegetation providing surrounding plants are not too tall. The Watsonias are part of the Iris family (Iridaceae) and are restricted to southern Africa where the majority of species are found in the Cape winter rainfall area. Watsonia schlechteri is mountainous species that extends from Bain’s Kloof and the mountains around Ceres to Cape Hangklip and east to the Langeberg and Rooiberg to the Kammanassie and Kouga mountains in the southern Cape. It was named in honour of Rudolf Schlechteri, the late nineteenth century plant collector and botanist, who was one of the first to record this species. It flowers from late November to February.
So why a fynbos blog? We have always been fascinated by the remarkable flora of the Cape. From a distance it looks like dull grey-green stuff, but get up close and you will find that it is teeming with life, is full of fascinating stories and has many uses. Enjoy!