The beautiful and fragrant Grey Afrikaner (Gladiolus griseus) is one of the rarest Gladiolus species. Historically, they occurred on the Cape West Coast from Milnerton, north towards Saldanha, but after a hundred years of coastal developments the species is now restricted to only three small populations. This fact makes the discovery of a small population of this critically endangered plant in the Koeberg Nature Reserve even more significant. It is believed that there are less than 250 of these plants left in the wild.
Information with grateful thanks to Fifi Meyer CPRP, Koeberg Visitors Centre Manager
The plants flower in early winter – from May to July – and the flowers are pollinated by bees. They are closely related to Blou Afrikaner (Gladiolus carinatus) and sometimes difficult to distinguish from it.
The City of Cape Town, together with the Tygerberg Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) group and CapeNature, is taking concerted steps to preserve and protect recently discovered rare and endangered fynbos species in Cape Town.
South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world, primarily because of the amazing species richness of the Fynbos Biome. Cape Town, located in the Fynbos Biome, is well known for its biodiversity and has over 3 000 plant species – 318 of which are on the Red Data Threatened List. Eskom conservation staff will join forces with these organisations to protect these precious plants and preserve the species for posterity.
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