Flower of the month (March 2012) – Protea subvestita
Common name: Lipflower protea / sugarbush
Qhoza, Zulu: Isiqalaba
Borrowed Qhoza name by Basotho: Seqalaba se sesoeu
Family – Proteaceae
It is a short tree sometimes people refer it as a shrub. Its height can range between 1 to 4 meters. It’s commonly found on rocky sandstone beds and slopes. It’s gray on the back and the leaves and densely covered with hairs. The flowers can be variable as they can either be creamy white or pink.
Distribution and habitat:
It is can be noticed at Ramats’eliso – Qacha’sneck on the edges of the National boundary of Lesotho and South Africa, although it has been virtually wiped out by the local people for fuel wood. It can also be found within Sehlabathebe National Park.
Cultivation and Care:
Generally Proteas like acidic soil hence a reason why they are naturally found growing on areas of sandstone formation. They can be grown from seed although they need a special treatment of smoke prior to germination. This is why the wild fires in the mountain stimulate their germination. The fastest way is cultivation through soft wood cuttings.