I have just returned from some awesome botanising in the limestone hills between Pearly Beach and Baardskeedersbos. Even though it is quite late in the season I found some beautiful plants in full flower on the limestone ridges. This area burnt in a wild fire on a very hot day, earlier this year in March.
One of the most spectacular finds was a large population of Gladiolus miniatus in full flower.
This species is restricted to limestone outcrops from Hermanus to Cape Agulhas where it flowers from October to December. It is classified as vulnerable in the latest Red Data list of South African plants. It is probably extinct at three of 13 historically recorded locations due to urban development. Six locations are threatened by severe alien plant invasion, three are threatened by urban development and three fall within conservation areas. It is estimated that it is now found in only about 10 different locations. I have seen it before in the area but not as prolifically as now after the late summer fire.
Unfortunately the area where these plants are flowering is also showing signs of massive regeneration of Port Jackson Willow (Acacia saligna). We are working with the landowner to tackle the regrowth of this exotic tree and conserve these, and the other beautiful limestone fynbos species on the property.