Maliba Lodge Mountain Lodge message:
Alpine plants in their environment can look spectacular, when we talk of alpine plants we do not mean the alpine plants found in the Alps, but those specialist species that grow above the tree line (alpine belt). Here much harsher living conditions prevail than in the valleys. …
Asteraceae – Daisy family
Felicia drakensbergensis is a domed shaped and grey leaved shrub. It grows to a height of 0.1-0.3meters, same behaviour with any other high altitude shrub species. Blue flowers about 5mm in diameter, 8-13 ray florets. Full bloom December – February. When in full flower, it completely covers the entire plant with flowers leaving the leaves and stems hidden from view.
DID YOU KNOW DAISY FAMILY IS THE BIGGEST PLANT FAMILY IN LESOTHO?
If you are lucky enough to have good timing and an adventurous spirit, you may just stumble across some of these hidden treasures of Maloti Mountains.
Some of these small but lovely flowers are very clever as they only show themselves in a very dry grassland habitat or sometimes immediately after grassland burning they become the first conspicuous flowers to be realized. This behavior makes it easy again to be realized by pollinators as there will be less competition around it.
September is still a very dry month left with few pockets of snow in the high altitude areas of Lesotho. The competition for pollination and survival of high altitude flowers can be seen in so many mechanisms implied by plants in these areas. As such some of species behave more or less the same as those in in the European Alps such as plant species as Soldanellasp which flowers brightly immediately after the snow melt. The trick being, for it to be easily noticed by its pollinators.
The best way to experience these is a wild walk at the edges of Ts’ehlanyane escarpment, Bokong Nature Reserve and the Eastern route to ‘Moteng pass. All of the mentioned areas area at an altitude of above 2000 – 3000 Meters above Sea Level.