Flowers of the Drakensberg
To quote Elsa Pooley, “The dramatic broken landscape of the escarpment and the harsh climatic conditions of the highland of Lesotho account for the remarkably diverse plant life with about 2200 species and almost 400 endemics (plants found only on this area and no where else in the world)”. This area has been recognized as being of global botanical importance. Many flowers and plants are used for medical purposes by local people
In the year 2000 the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg area was declared a World Heritage Site for its rich diversity of plant and animal life, beautiful landscape and San rock paintings.
There are always interesting plants to be seen at any time of the year. Flowers are usually at their best after the spring rains and in summer, from November to February . Flowering can also be good before and after these months. Winters tend to be bleak but with a wonderful charm when the seeding grasses on the hills are golden red.
At Inkosana Lodge the indigenous gardens have taken decades to become established, the trees are water-wise and very slow growers. Yet patience has been rewarded and the setting with dramatic views of the ‘Berg are a site worth seeing.
The following books provide fascinating insight.
Mountain Splendour. Wild Flowers of the Drakenberg
by R O Pearce (out of print). Southern Book publishers
Mountain Flowers. A field guide ton the Flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho
By Elsa Pooley. Published by The Flora Publications Trust.
A Field Guide to the Flora of the Natal Drakensberg.
by Donald Killick. Published by Jonathan Ball