KwaZulu-Natal is a small province on the eastern (summer rainfall) coast of South Africa and is known as the "garden" province because of its high annual rainfall and equitable growing climate. It is also well known for its dramatic scenery - the result of millions of years of geologic upliftment and deep erosion by rivers flowing in an easterly direction to the Indian ocean. Altitudes vary by more than 3000 metres as one journeys from the top of the Drakensberg mountains to the coast - a distance of less than 180 kilometres. This great variation in altitude leads to an enormous diversity of plant life, ranging from the alpine vegetation of the Drakensberg to sub-tropical thickets at the coast. Needless to say KwaZulu-Natal has a rich diversity of geophytes including well known plants such as Gladiolus, Moraea, Watsonia and also an amazing variety of terrestrial orchids. Photo by Rogan Roth.
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