Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 31 Jan 2011 07:13:37 PST

I'm skipping Naude's Nek for the moment where we spent part of two 
days discovering many wonderful plants as it will take some time to 
gather all our photos and Cameron's from the past to create a new 
group of pages for a new place on the wiki. We reluctantly left 
Naude's Nek but had a new treat in store as we were staying at a 
wonderful farm with very nice people, Balloch. It was very hot again 
so one of the delights was to cool off in a pool in the river after 
we unloaded. That night we had dinner outside in an open cave with a 
dramatic thunderstorm for entertainment. The next morning a hike up 
to the top of a mountain was scheduled before breakfast. Not only 
were the views spectacular, but we were rewarded by seeing several 
different specimens of one of my most favorite plants of the trip, 
Disa porrecta. I'm afraid I may have added more photos to the wiki 
than were needed to show its features.

After breakfast we did another mountain hike in the area. Well, some 
of us did. It was already getting to be quite warm and there weren't 
so many plants to see so part way up the mountain a few of us found a 
cave with a lovely view and lingered there out of the sun while the 
rest of the group climbed to the top. Two plants seen at the 
beginning of this hike were Dierama robustum and Hypoxis 
angustifolia. Also spotted was a Gladiolus dalenii, but our pictures 
of it aren't very good so I didn't add them to the wiki.

We were lucky to have experts along to help us with identification of 
these plants. The Hypoxis flowers mostly looked alike to me, although 
often the leaves were different, but not always enough for me to tell 
them apart. And a lot of the Dieramas looked similar as well.

Later in the day on our way to the next destination we saw a single 
representative of Nerine angustifolia, but I didn't add it to the 
wiki either since there are already nice habitat photos on the wiki 
from Cameron. We then stopped at a field of Kniphofia linearifolia. 
The Kniphofias we saw were also the subject of some discussion as 
keys were reviewed in an attempt to tell them apart. I think this was 
the final conclusion of what this one was. Regardless of what it was, 
the field was very beautiful and certainly the habitat description 
seemed correct.

Mary Sue

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