Kwandwe Private Game Reserve – a botanist's paradise

I recently had an opportunity to visit Kwandwe Private Game Reserve for a couple of days and was overwhelmed by the rich variety of plants in the veld. The reserve is situated between Grahamstown and Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, where the climate is semi-Karoid; very hot and dry in summer and very cold and dry during winter.

The reserve is of course a haven for the 'Big Five' and a host of herbivores, carnivores, birds, reptiles and insects. Good rain during the previous weeks had left the animals in prime condition and the veld ablaze with bright spots of colour everywhere.

I was fortunate enough to go on a botanical walking tour with Ranger Mike and his co-worker, Sibo. Mike enthusiastically shared his knowledge of plants, while Sibo, having grown up in the area, was a mine of information about the medicinal uses of the plants. We didn't get very far on our walk as I kept stopping to look at new and, to me anyway, unusual plant species.

With only two days at this acclaimed reserve, I have not in any way done justice to the burgeoning plant life to be seen in this sometimes harsh and arid climate. I have not yet identified a few of the plants below - please feel free to make suggestions.

Anacampseros arachnoides
Aptosimum indivisum
Blepharis capensis
Bulbine frutescens
Cadaba aphylla
Carissa haematocarpa; Karoo Num-num
Crassula rogersii
Cuspidia cernua
Cyanella lutea
Cyphostemma quinatum
Eriocephalus afra; Wild rosemary
Euphorbia fimbriata perhaps
Euphorbia mauritanica
Hermannia candicans
Jamesbrittenia phlogiflora
Jasminum multipartitum
Lessertia var.
Ledebouria socialis
Pachypodium bispinosum
Pappea capensis; Jacket plum
Pelargonium ionidifolium
Rhigozum obovatum
Rhombophyllum dolabriforme
Schotia afra var. afra;  Karoo boer-bean
Spike thorn var.


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Hi Pradeep

Thanks for your comment - it lifted my day.

(I also noticed that I hadn't updated the plant names for a while, which I have now done.)


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