Archive for Bokang Ntloko

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


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. Read more

Sehlabathebe lily (Aponogeton Ranunculiflorus)

This unusual species was first described in 1972. It is a small aquatic located first from high altitude rock pools in Sehlabathebe National Park, in what was thought to be only a 3 hectare area. Since then discoveries have been made on the South African side where conditions exactly match the approximate altitude (2600m) and within a 10km radius.



Aponogeton Ranunculiflorus (Apologies for the poor image quality)


Flowering in January, the flowers are borne on long slender strings, they are pure white little cups floating on the surface of water.

Distribution and habitat:

Sehlabathebe rock pool

Photo by: Mark Van Der Wal

In Lesotho it is confined in the sandstone rock pools at an altitude range of 2400 – 3300 Meters above Sea Level. It is easily identified on the surface of the pools. It belongs to group of aquatic plants with special needs for propagation. It requires shallow water in the beginning of season and becomes deeper as the rainy season progresses and becomes shallower again as the dry season approaches.

In nature these kinds of plants grow in tarn that allows for seasonal drying, resulting in the seeds being able to settle at the bottom of pond and germinate when the time / conditions are ideal.

Conservation status:

It is classified as a Critically Endangered plant species by the Southern African Red Data Lists. The Removal of plants and seeds for the National Park is highly prohibited.

Spiral Aloe (Aloe Polyphylla)

Aloe polyphylla (Kharetsa – SS, Spiral aloe – English, Kroonaalwyn – Afrikaans meaning “crown aloe”)


The Spiral Aloe is a rare and beautiful aloe found in the Maluti Mountains. Very characteristic is the unique spiral arrangement of the leaves. It was discovered by Mr. F.H. Holland in 1915 at Phurumela Mountains of Lesotho, and then Dr. Schonland of Albany museum in Grahamstown described it but not published until 1934.  It was then described officially by Mr. N. S. Pillans in South African Gardening and Country Life using Dr. Schonland notes. (Sean Gildenhuys).Spiral Aloe leaves



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Blue Scilla (Scilla Natalensis)

Kherere (Sotho);  Inguduza (Zulu); Blouslangkop (Afrikaans); Blue-squill / Blue Scilla of Africa (English)

Scilla Natalensis flowers

Scilla Natalensis flowers (Photo: Wikipedia)


Hyacinthaceae – family

Scilla natalensis is a graceful perennial bulb. The leaves are broad and sharply tapering, narrowing at its apex and grey green in color.  The flower growths are borne on long slender stalks of about one meter high and bright blue color. In general it produces a large bulb, 10 to 15 cm in diameter, covered with firm, hardened, papery brown or purplish tunics (bulb scales). It is deciduous, growing during summer and dormant in the winter. Read more

Tyson’s euryops (Euryops tysonii)

Tyson’s euryops (Eng.) Sehloakoana se senyenyane (Southern Sesotho)

Euryops tysonii

Euryops tysonii - Photo by James Gaither

A lovely shrub for the garden Euryops tysonii (it was named after William Tyson) – Sehlakoana se senyenyane (Sesotho name) with showy yellow flowers all summer and an interesting upright habit. Euryops derived from the Greek word, eurys, meaning large or wide, and ops, meaning eye or face (referring to showy flower heads). Read more

Felicia petiolata

Felicia petiolata - Daisy

Felicia petiolata - Daisy


The UN has declared 2010 as an international year of Biodiversity. It is also the year that we celebrate the achievements in plant conservation. As such Maliba Mountain Lodge also strives to promote conservation of indigenous flora through displays and education.


Compositae / atereaceae – Daisy family

(Petiolata – stalked, it refers to the long leaf stalks). The Genus “Felicia” was named after Herr Felix in 1846, a German official at Regesburg. It is one of largest family of flowering plants, and are mostly made up of herbs. There are several species in Lesotho and South Africa. It’s a perennial herbaceous plant that blooms all year round; it is naturally reaching its flowering pick in summer. Its growth habit is spreading. Read more

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