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Photo number00201 by Herman Steyn
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Pelargonium elongatum - Photo number 02921 by Christine Wakfer
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Hermanus
South Africa

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After the flames - Fire ephemerals

When flames race across the mountains consuming everything in their path
and leaving a smoking blackened landscape of devastation behind,
it is hard to imagine the robust regrowth waiting in the wings.

Two weeks almost to the day comes the Fire Lily, Cyrtanthus ventricosus,
which blooms scarlet and beautiful for a short period before wilting away
to sleep another ten years or more. Ten years is given by the experts as
the minimum acceptable time period between veld fires. That way some good
is achieved in refreshing the fynbos by burning senescent bush and species
have a chance to reseed in time.

During the three years following a burn , "fire ephemerals" , flora which
flower after fire or disturbance, sheet the mountain slopes with carpets of
colour. Small special orchids, bulbous plants of every description, pink and
white watsonias, navy blue agapanthus and pale blue aristeas delight the eye.
The slopes turn green with resprouting restio plants, asparagaceae, some
proteaceae and grasses, while seeds from protea and everlasting bushes, as
well as erica and other, bury themselves happily in the nutrientfull ash
and sprout when the first rain arrives.

The most devastating veld fires in the Hermanus area in recent years were
in 1986, 1996, 2001, 2008 and 2012. Below are some of the fire ephemerals seen on the
mountain slopes of Fernkloof.

Agapanthus africanus  - Photo number 01636 by Christine Wakfer Aristea sp  - Photo number 01655 by Christine Wakfer
Aristea spiralis  - Photo number 01657 by Christine Wakfer Bobartia longicyma magna  - Photo number 01642 by Christine Wakfer
Corymbium sp.  - Photo number 01639 by Christine Wakfer Cyrtanthus leucanthus  - Photo number 01637 by Christine Wakfer
Cyrtanthus leucanthus  - Photo number 01609 by Herman Steyn Cyrtanthus ventricosus  - Photo number 00106 by Herman Steyn
Disa atricapilla  - Photo number 01653 by Christine Wakfer Disa racemosa  - Photo number 01652 by Christine Wakfer
Disa tripetaloides tripetaloides  - Photo number 01650 by Christine Wakfer Erica cerinthoides cerinthoides  - Photo number 01641 by Christine Wakfer
Gerbera crocea  - Photo number 01640 by Christine Wakfer Haemanthus sanguineus  - Photo number 01638 by Christine Wakfer
Harveya squamosa  - Photo number 01654 by Christine Wakfer Lapeirousia corymbosa corymbosa  - Photo number 01757 by Geraldine Gardiner
Moraea angusta  - Photo number 01643 by Christine Wakfer Moraea lurida  - Photo number 01645 by Christine Wakfer
Moraea lurida  - Photo number 01644 by Christine Wakfer Moraea ramosissima  - Photo number 01646 by Christine Wakfer
Otholobium thomii  - Photo number 01755 by Geraldine Gardiner Otholobium zeyheri  - Photo number 01754 by Geraldine Gardiner
Pillansia templemanii  - Photo number 01647 by Christine Wakfer Pterygodium acutifolium  - Photo number 01651 by Christine Wakfer
Tritonia cooperi quadrialata  - Photo number 01656 by Christine Wakfer Tritoniopsis parviflora parviflora  - Photo number 01648 by Christine Wakfer
Watsonia borbonica  - Photo number 01756 by Geraldine Gardiner Watsonia stenosiphon  - Photo number 01649 by Christine Wakfer

          

          

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           Hermanus - Botanical Society - Botaniese Vereniging

          

This website was last updated on
2017 / 3 / 23