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.
Name: Saniella – It is said to be named after the World Heritage site of Sani Pass situated in the Mokhotlong District of South Eastern Lesotho highlands.
The wetlands of the mountains of Lesotho are unique and has been suggested that they represent type of wetlands related to those of Europe and North America. They are freshwater wetlands. This is where you find a mosaic of species ranging from red, white, pink, yellow, blue, maroon and etc. When almost all the species have finished flowering, the little white and yellow throated beauties will always be found as the last offer for a flower hunter to enjoy.
It is a dwarf, white and yellow throated flower with deeply dissected petals .
Distribution and habitat:
It is mostly found at an altitude of approximately 3000 meters above sea level, specifically in the head water wetlands of Lesotho main river’s sources (Bokong, Malibamatso, Matsoku) in the North East of Lesotho which contribute into the massive must-see Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Katse dam.