Winter Flowering at Grootbos

Posted under Fynbos and Flora Blog by Grootbos on 14th August 2012

In winter, the undulating hills and vales at Grootbos come alive with nature's own music and magic . . . magnificent creeping, crawling and flying creatures hop and bop joyfully from rainkissed petal to petal in pursuit of sweet nectar.

Flowering fynbos fields and animals compete for iridescence with the rich, warm colours of a wintry fire and the lustrous rainbow colours of a cloud-staged sunset.

There's a reason for every season . . .

Those who thought winter in the Western Cape is a dull, dreary time when all creatures hibernate, have obviously not been to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve!

Like you get winter and summer people, nature also has her "seasonal children" born to bloom and blossom in certain climates and temperatures. The "winter" children at Grootbos are a boisterous, bohemian bunch of exhibitionists attired in outfits of brilliant colours to tease and appease the extreme elements. The veld becomes a matryoshka doll, with the rain washing off and revealing layer upon layer of hidden beauty. Splashes of vibrant pink, red and purple Ericas and Proteas burst through sheets of blossoming Bietou and blombos, transforming the landscape into a crazy canvass of contrast and colour.

The wildlife instinctively sense what the skies will bring

. . . And swing and sway rhythmically with the wind in anticipation of the welcome rains. Yellow trailing pincushion, sugarbush, King protea and other protea species shamelessly strut their splendour to lure the Cape sugarbird to the sweet stuff hidden in their tubes. Bees, birds and a zillion small creatures follow the flow of nectar from flower to flower to stock up for the dry summer months. The rare Erica irregularis, restricted to this area, is a favourite nectar source for the Cape honey bee.

A botanist's boutique in every season

Hosting close to 800 recorded plant species, of which six are new to science, Grootbos Nature Reserve is a botanist's boutique in every season. Also featuring prominently on a winter tick-off list are the kolkol (Berzelia lanuginosa), Altydbos (Staavia radiata), the beautiful blue felicia amoena, lilac or white drumsticks (Zaluzianskya villosa) and fields of yellow magrietjies (Ursinia anthemoides).

At Grootbos, every season yields its own kaleidoscope of colourful creatures and features. Come watch our winter children at play – they will blow your mind, for they are one of a kind!

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