Fynbos is hardy, and can withstand tough weather conditions. But a recent outing on Flower Valley Farm (the home of Flower Valley Conservation Trust) highlighted just how the current weather could be impacting on our fynbos landscape.
The Western Cape is experiencing the worst drought in more than a century. And the dry spell has certainly affected Flower Valley Farm.
We recently saw how a number of fynbos species that flower in spring, had already starting flowering in the middle of winter. For example:
Leucospermum patersonii (Pincushions) were already blooming very early July. They usually only start to show at the end of August.
Even the Sewejaartjie (Edmondia sesamoides) was seen flowering in late June (they also usually flower during August).
And the Pelargonium elegans, a species that flowers in September, showed its colours in July.
During a trip around the farm in December, a species like Leonotis leonurus (known as Wild dagga) was already flowering. Traditionally these bright orange flowers would only be seen between March and May.
The out-of-the-ordinary flowering times may possibly be caused by the unusual weather patterns. The downpour in November was much-needed; however, rain is unusual during the summer months for our winter rainfall area – in the Overberg region of South Africa.
Now, the Flower Valley team is on high alert for the greatest summer threat: runaway fires. Plans are in place and Flower Valley has connected with our fire partners to ensure we are prepared.
If you and your family are heading to the Overstrand this festive season, please pay a visit to Flower Valley Farm for a fynbos hike or a tractor ride. Call farm manager, Marianna Afrikaner, to organise your visit to our piece of fynbos magic. But wherever you are, BE FIRE-WISE!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. 028 388 0713