Early blooms in Steenbok Nature Reserve

The Brunsvigia Orientalis Emergence of these spectacular crimson Candelabra flowers is a common sight in Steenbok during February, March and April. The bud of this large bulb pushes up through the sand on its sturdy stem before a leaf can be seen, and produces up to 40 flowers in a head shaped like a rounded candelabra. As the flowers fade the ovaries enlarge and become papery and eventually the flower stem breaks away and the flowerhead is blown about, tumbling over the ground and scattering its seeds. These flowerheads blowing in the wind like tumbleweeds no doubt give rise to the Afrikaans name Perdespookbossie.

Berry trees in Steenbok Nature Reserve Harpephylium caffrum Common names: wild plum (Eng.); wildepruim (Afr.); umgwenya (Zulu, Xhosa). The tasty plum-like fruits first appear green and then turn red when they ripen in autumn; they contain a single seed and are enjoyed by people, mammals and birds.

This very striking and well known plant is found naturally from the Eastern Cape to tropical Africa and can be spotted in many places in Steenbok at the moment, especially in the Indigenous garden.Gloriosa superba (Flame lily), which from above looks like our stunning Seedpod, is a tuberous perennial with sprawling or climbing stems. It can reach 2m in height thanks to its tendrils found at the tip of the plant. The flowers are bi-coloured yellow and orange-red, deepening in colour when ageing. They flower from November to March and their petals do look like flames with their crisped margins. Even though G. superba has medicinal uses ALL parts of the plant are poisonous and wrong dosage can be lethal.