It is not often that a rare and nearly extinct plant is found in our fast changing urban environments. The sighting, account and photographs of the Moraea aristata makes fascinating reading.
Read Desiree Shepherd’s account of the visit to the Moraea on Thursday 30 August…
Two Rivers Urban Park
30 August 2007
What a rare find!
It is no exaggeration to say that Moraea aristata is far more common in European herbaria than it is in the wild, and it is in fact close to extinction. This striking white-flowered, blue-eyed member of the “peacock” alliance was never widespread, and the early records suggest it grew only on clay slopes and flats in the Cape Peninsula, between Cape Town and Rondebosch. Today there is little open land here, but M. aristata still survives on the grounds of the Royal Observatory in Cape Town, along the Liesbeek River. Insufficient individuals remain to constitute a viable population, few plants producing flowers and less seed.
These photos of Moraea aristata were taken by Desiree Shepherd from the Environmental and Heritage Management Branch, at the Royal Observatory within the Two Rivers Urban Park. Here they are growing wild. The Nature Conservation Department is in the process of preparing Environmental Management Plan of this area. For more information contact Maya Stauch Tel: 021 700 1843 Fax: 021 700 1607 Cell: 084 235 9602 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org