Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spiderhead

Our hike this morning took us from Simonstown up onto the mountain to Swartkops Peak and along the spine of Table Mountain and down to Smitswinkel Bay - a most spectacular five and a half hours. On the way we passed the famous Swartkops Spiderhead population - the only one left of these beautiful spiderheads - Serruria hirsuta. They are listed as Critically Endangered on the internationally endorsed IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria in the Red List of South African plants. The genus Serruria belongs to the protea family and was named in honour of J. Serrurier who was Professor of Botany at the University of Utrecht in the early eighteenth century. The most famous one is the Blushing Bride, Serruria florida from Franschhoek.

6 comments:

  1. I have never even seen a picture of this until now...it is spectacular! What caused it's demise?
    Jane x

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  2. What an unusual plant! Looks like a great location for a hike.

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  3. I have never seen that in my life. They are exquisite.

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  4. It certainly is a wonderful hike. In the fynbos there is an unusually high number of locally endemic plant groups that are now vulnerable to extinction. Fynbos - a kind of heathland vegetation - is fire-dependant and as there are fewer and fewer fires, especially in areas near human habitation, a lot of species just die out.

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  5. Once more, something down to human intervention.
    Jane x

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  6. How exciting! Magnificent plant. That's an area of the peninsula I don't know at all - must make a plan to walk there one of these days. Did you meet any baboons?

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