Night Phlox – Zaluzianskya Rubrostellata

Family: Scrophulariaceae – Snapdragon family

Zaluzianskya – this herb is named after the botanist called Adam Zalusiansky von Zaluzian.

Rubrostellata rubro meaning red and stellata meaning star.

Zaluzianskya rubrostellata
Photo: Jenny Wainwright-Klein

Description:

It is an annual plant that grows in herbaceous form. It’s growing in high altitude basaltic soils. It has conspicuous hairs on the stems. Interestingly the flowers are bright yellow, inside and chocolate brown underneath, it is painted star red in the mouth.

Distribution and habitat:

It is naturally growing in an altitude range of 2340 – 3000 Meters Above Sea Level. It flowers only in the evening from around 19:00 hours when it gets darker, which makes it easier to spot along the road side or alpine grasses, and other herbs. It can be seen / found more on disturbed areas along the route to Lets’eng Diamond Mine which is located in the Drakensberg Alpine Centre in Lesotho.

Multiplication:

It is naturally propagating from seed which disperses when the seed pods ruptures upon ripening. Like any annual plant it finishes its life circle in a year and the following season the new plants are normally found within the area though some could be found in other nearby areas due to wind, insects and water dispersal.

It is really refreshing for those who are connected to nature, to stop over at dusk and see these bright colors in the wild or sometimes even have brief evening walk after dinner for hunting these natural miracles.

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