At the moment you may have seen the marvellous splashes of red colour dotted all over the Reserve.  These are the flowers of the Brunsvigia orientalis.

Say it nice and posh:   “brunz – VIJ – ee – uh    OR – ee – en – TAY – lis”!

Known as the Red Candelabra flower this plant is amazing.  The bulb lies secretly underground waiting until late summer.  You may not notice it slowly popping out of the bare sandy ground but suddenly like MAGIC there is a strange bright red-coloured plant!

It looks a bit like a ball of red candlesticks on a stalk hence the name.  These amazing flowerheads do not last long and dry out and fade to the colour of straw.

Red going,









The papery flower ball then snaps off its stalk and rolls about in the wind.  The flower ball tumbles over the ground like a tumbleweed.  An Afrikaans name that describes it exactly is the ‘rolbossie’ which means ‘little rolling bush’.  It is also known as ‘perdespookbossie’ (Afrik. – tumbleweed that scares horses).

During all this rolling the seeds are cleverly scattered and spread around SO…

DON’T take the tumbleweed home or it might go extinct from Steenbok Nature Reserve!


Posted in FYI