Tag Archives: Flora

Karoo boer-bean tree

Description

The Karoo Boer-been tree is small in stature (max. height 5 m), evergreen, with rigid branches and has a gnarled trunk. The flowers are numerous, bright red to pink in colour and are borne in small clusters during the months of February to March. They are distributed throughout the tree.

Flowers produce copious amounts of nectar which attract birds, especially the Lesser Double-collared Sunbird and Malachite Sunbird. The butterfly Dantalis breeds in the tree. Flowers are followed by attractive, large, lime green to pink seedpods which turn brown when ripe. The seed is dispersed through an explosive seedpod, which when dry, catapults the seeds great distances from the parent plant. Seeds are produced in May and June of each year. Under normal circumstances the seeds would germinate in moist soil in late spring after the winter rains.

karoo-boer-bean-tree2

Uses

It has a number of interesting uses. A decoction of the bark is taken to treat heartburn and hangovers. Bark and root mixtures are used to strengthen the body and purify the blood, to treat nervous heart conditions and diarrhoea, as well as for facial saunas. The seeds are edible after roasting, and although low in fat and protein they have a high carbohydrate content.

Distribution

The trees often occur along the banks of dry streams and small rivers in the Little Karoo, the drier areas of Eastern Cape, including Sibuya Game Reserve and the southern part of Western Cape.

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Pavetta Lanceolata

Weeping bride’s bush or Christmas bush. In full flower, this bush (pavetta lanceolata), looks like a bride adorned in pure white, full of expectations and hope for a long and happy life, hence the common name.  The alternative common name is also apt as these bushes are in full flower during Christmas time.

Family

Rubiaceae (gardenia family, katjiepiering-familie)

Common Names

weeping bride’s bush, bridal bush, Christmas bush ( Eng. ); treurbruidsbos, bruidsbos (Afr.); umhleza, ilitoba, umgonogono, umphonyana (Xhosa); igololembuzi, umdleza (Zulu); mufhanza, tshituku ( Venda )

Description

Pavetta lanceolata is an evergreen tree or shrub, up to 5(7) m high, regularly decussately branched (opposite pair at right angles to next pair). The bark is greyish white.

Distribution and habitat

Pavetta lanceolata is fairly common in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa, in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Swaziland, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. It also occurs in southern Mozambique. It often grows in association with other bushes in bush clumps, on forest margins and river banks, and can be found in abundance on Sibuya.

Pavetta Lanceolata

The sweet-smelling Weeping Bride’s Bush (Pavetta) is in flower all over the Reserve at the moment – a gorgeous sight and a delight to the bees!

 

Autumn Flowers on Sibuya

During February, March and April, SIBUYA has been alive with a stunning variety of butterflies flitting about doing “butterfly business”. Banks of sky-blue PLUMBAGO (Plumbago auriculata) and bright vermillion CAPE HONEYSUCKLE (Tecoma capensis) providing nectar for the butterflies and delighting the eye. In many choice spots these prolific plants seems to form a rather beautiful corridor down which we pass. It’s sometimes difficult to believe that these profusely flowering shrubs occur naturally in the Eastern Cape.


Lovely Nuxia flowers visited by a Spotted Sailer and Green-Banded Swallowtails

The FOREST-ELDER TREES (Nuxia floribunda), on the forest margins and within individual clumps, have just finished flowering. While they were at their best the small white fragrant flowers, in showy large much-branched heads, attracted a prolific amount of nectar-loving birds, insects and butterflies…which in turn attracted other birds which preyed on them…and so the cycle continues…

Sibuya Game Reserve

Sibuya has recently started team-building & conferencing programmes for companies or conference groups.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Winter Flower Wonderland

Virtually the whole year round SIBUYA has flowers adding interest and colour to the landscape… even in the middle of winter! At the moment the forest margins and woodlands are festooned with pungently scented yellow flowers belonging to succulent creepers and shrubs, Senecio brachypodus and Senecio tamoidesCANARY CREEPER. The congested clusters of bright yellow flowers create a visual feast as they attract a host of white to deep yellow butterflies (Pieridae), which add their subtle colour range to the spectacle. These plants are sought after in traditional medicine as they may be used in the treatment of Anthrax in cattle and flatulence!

The creeper TRAVELLER’S JOY (Clematis brachiata) is in evidence everywhere. With the light behind it, as it sprawls over shrubs along the wayside, it looks like its wreathing the plants in candy floss. Gorgeous vermilion ALOE FERROX flowers are in evidence in various areas of SIBUYA … where the elephants can’t get to demolish them! The nectar of these bright robust flowers provides a feast for many species of birds, butterflies, monkeys and even elephants… all enjoy this sweetest of treats and even perhaps, the narcotic effects…


A glorious tapestry of colour

Sibuya Game Reserve

Birding enthusiasts can take a boat or canoe up the estuary to search for some of the 6 varieties of local kingfisher. Or head downstream to the beach to see the multitude of waders, terns and gulls. A walk in the pristine thicket forest is the best way to see the shy Narina Trogon and every game drive reveals a host of raptors from the common buzzards to the more rare Bateleur, Crowned Eagle or Fish Eagles. Night drives are made special by the numbers and varieties of owls and nightjars caught in the spot light.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Sibuya Flowers

The Weeping Bride’s Bush (Pavetta Lanceolata) was spectacular again this summer. During the height of its flowering season, we counted over 90 of these sweet-smelling flowering shrubs on our travels around the Reserve. Making a magnificent show were also the Boerboonbooms (Schotia Afra & Latifolia) which obviously responded to the wonderful timeous rains we had last year. They were abuzz with bees, butterflies and many other insects.


Pavetta Lanceolata

Truly spectacular at the moment and especially where the two are intertwined, are literally banks of sky-blue Plumbago (Plumbago Auriculata) and mauve Morning Glory (Ipomoea Family). The strong vermillion of Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma Capensis) is adding colour everywhere too… a veritable visual feast in the bright sunlight!


Ipomoea

On much closer inspection of the bush as one travels around the Reserve, less obvious but an interesting twining perennial herb is Wild Hops (Dalechampia Capensis). The rather unusual pale yellow flowers are clustered within conspicuous petal-like floral bracts. Beware if you are tempted to try and touch these… the lobed calyx has extremely fine stinging hairs!


Dalechampia Capensis

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Invasive Scotch Thistle

October and November have at last brought good rains to finally break the long drought. The dams have filled and the grass is growing but as usually happens in reserve management, with the advantages, there are also some disadvantages!

The flush of spring growth has brought with it an explosion of Scotch Thistle.  This aggressive weed came to South Africa from Scotland in the late eighteen eighties mixed in with the bales of horse feed imported for the British troops in the Boer war and has since spread throughout the Eastern Cape.

The seed can lie dormant in the soil for years and germinates wherever the soil is disturbed or whenever the grass is eaten right down by animals and then followed by heavy rain. This robust weed grows fast and very soon the attractive lilac flowers are visible everywhere. The elephants and the eland enjoy eating these flowers but even they can’t eat them fast enough. Pretty as they are, thistles are not indigenous, so we try to control them by mowing them down before the seeds are formed and scattered by the wind.

In answer to the guest who asked, when looking around at the reserve whilst on game drive… “Who does your landscaping?” we have to finally admit… sometimes we have to!

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve