Five threatened plants found at one site

29 December 2014

CREW KZN node interns, Hlengiwe Mtshali and Mbali Mkhize admiring the orchid, Disa crassicornis, atop of Edgeware Mountain on the KZN Midlands.

On 4 December 2014 the CREW All over group (the A Team) set out to revisit a site in the KZN Midlands in which the team had found a data deficient plant a few years earlier. The team had an early start to the day as they began their three-hour journey from Durban. Having reached the small town of Boston, the team met with 2 locals who have frequented the site and were present during the previous fieldtrips.

Christmas Bells, Sandersonia aurantiaca

The group of 5 spent several hours in the blazing sun and high humidity botanising on Edgeware Mountain. As the group ascended the mountain, they began finding Sandersonia aurantiaca (Declining), Eucomis autumnalis (Declining), Asclepias bicuspis (Critically Endangered), a new locality for Polygala practicola (Data Deficient), and the elusive Schizoglossum bidens subsp. hirtum (Data Deficient). Finding five threatened species at 1 site on 1 visit is a huge achievement for the summer-rainfall region.  

The Critically Endangered Asclepias bicuspis

Updating Red List of South African plants

The Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildplants (CREW) programme operates by organising local plant enthusiasts into community groups. CREW groups survey remaining pieces of natural vegetation for species of conservation concern and identify critical fragments of land with high numbers of threatened species that are in need of conservation. They also monitor selected populations of highly threatened species to determine if populations are stable, increasing or decreasing. This survey and monitoring information is provided to SANBI’s Threatened Species Programme for annual updating of the Red List of South African Plants.

Our heartfelt appreciations to David and Barbara Clulow and Chris Wahlberg for making this trip a successful one. 

Schizoglossum bidens subsp. hirtum

For more information please contact:

Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW Programme KZN node manager

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Comments

Submitted by Marianne de Jager at 31/12/2014 - 14:49
On 26 December I also found Christmas Bells in the Umgeni Nature Reserve just outside Howick. It was a first for me!
Submitted by Marianne de Jager at 31/12/2014 - 14:47
On 26 December 2014 I also found Sandersonia aurantiaca in the grasslands of WESSA's headquarters just outside Howick, in the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve. It was a first for me!

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