3 years ago
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
A very welcome misty, rainy morning. This is Nerine sarniensis, one of our beautiful indigenous bulbs, growing on the very top of Table Mountain just near the Mountain Club hut. It grows only on rocky mountain slopes in the southwestern Cape, although its common name is the Guernsey Lily because, for some reason, they were found growing on the Channel Island of Guernsey in the 1650s and legend has it they were washed up when a ship from the Cape, bound for Holland, was wrecked off Guernsey. That legend has been debunked though, and it is probably more likely that some amateur horticulturist wasn't very careful about where he or she planted their exotic bulbs. Oliver Cromwell's Major-General John Lambert is widely credited with being the culprit becuase he was known to have specimens of it in his garden in Wimbledon. He was exiled to the island of Guernsey after the Restoration, and it is thought, took some bulbs with him to while away the time.