Monthly Archives: May 2015

Silene undulata

S. undulata

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be focusing on a member of the Caryophyllaceae (Carnation) family.

Silene undulata (Gunpowder Plant or Dream Root in English, Wildetebak in Afrikaans and Molokoloko in Sesotho) is a frost and heat resistant perennial that grows up to 1000mm tall on moist, steep hill-slopes at altitudes ranging from 1550–2880 m A.S.L. This plant occurs from the Western Cape right through to Zimbabwe.

S. undulatamay be differentiated from a similar species; S. bellidoides primarily through its ecological range and habitat – S. bellidoides prefers open grassveld, and is substantially smaller at only 600mm. The species name undulata is derived from undulate, in botanical terms this refers to the undulating or “waving” nature of the leaves. The common name Gunpowder Plant is a reference to the dark colour of the seed-baring capsules held by this species. This particular specimen was observed for the first time on the new Caracal Contour Cycle trail on the day of the MTB Series race through the CNR

The leaves of this species occur in a basal rosette (120X30mm) and smaller leaves also occur on the stem (80X20mm). The ovary upon which the flower is perched is tubular, obloid, green-ribbed, measures 20-30mm and is slightly hairy.  The flowers vary in size with the largest almost double the diameter of the smallest which measure 20mm across. The flower is a cream-white and is deeply lobed, resembling a heart. The flower margins are slightly undulating and the flower produces an agreeable sent from early evening. The flower is open early mornings just before dawn (and in the shadow of south-facing mountains) and again around dusk. Flowering occurs from December – mid-April. Uses:
Traditional uses
This seldom-observed flowering species is regarded by sangoma’s as a sacred plant with the ability to induce vivid prophetic dreams as well as in the facilitation of communication with ancestral spirits. The plant can be ingested as a tonic, solid or the foam from brewing can also be ingested. Larger doses can cause nausea and vomiting. It is believed that if foam doesn’t occur after preparations that the timing of the ceremony for which it was prepared is either ill-advised, or that the ancestors don’t approve of the ceremony.
Ecology
S.undulata is pollinated at night by insects such as Hawk-moths.
Conservation Status
The SANBI conservation status for S. undulata is listed as Least Concern

 

Click here for more information on plants in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Damien1-100x100Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

8th May, 2015

IMG_0291


 

 

A very tough job ?  (Specially for Mom)

Some would say that this is the toughest job in the world.   Have a look at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY.    Some of you may already have all the necessary experience.


 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE POLICE FORUM:

Since posting this item on our facebook page four days ago, this announcement has reached 1,480 people and been shared 15 times.    But just in case you’re not a facebook fan…..here it is again.

Toyota Thefts in Clarens

The Clarens Sector Police Forum has received important information on the recent spate of Toyota thefts in Clarens. Vehicles, all Toyotas, have been stolen from private residences and hotels in the village over the past few weeks in spite of a campaign by the Police Forum to alert Toyota owners to this threat. However, the diligence of a Police Forum reservist has provided details of the vehicles used by the gang responsible.
The residents of Clarens are asked to be on the lookout for the following vehicles, believed to be involved in the Toyota thefts:
• An old-model white Isuzu double cab bakkie which is known to be changing its number plates, although the following numbers have been observed: BDB 461 H; PRB 895 B (both orange numerals); and FND 895 GP
• A newer, blue Ford Ranger double cab, for which no numbers are available. These vehicles are known to travel together but please be aware that the occupants are considered to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached. If you see either of these vehicles please contact the Clarens Police station on 058 256 6000/1/2; Warrant Officer Steyn (082 466 8904); or Lt. Botha (082 419 7094).
The SAPS would also like to remind the public that there is an anonymous reporting box situated at the Trading Post next to the Post office, which can be used to anonymously provide information that may be useful to the police.


And on a similar note:  Be aware

Tim Moorcroft has had his credit card “skimmed”  over the last two to three days.   The fraud squad suspect that this took place in either Clarens or Bethlehem.   I suppose all of us in Clarens need to realise that we are part of the big wide world after all.   On the upside – where else would this incident make the NEWS ?


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Article and photography by
Damien Coulson
Head ranger:
Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts.  This week we’ll be focusing on a member of the…take a deep breath because it’s another long unusual scientific name… Orobanchaceae(Broomrape)family – whew!

Known by its English common name, Yellow Witchweed (or Verfblommetjie) Alectra sessiliflora is actually an herbaceous hemiparasitic plant on grasses, occurring at altitudes of up to 2900m A.S.L., from the Western Cape through to equatorial Africa. Hemi-parasites are very interesting and rather unusual in that they can obtain nourishment from photosynthesis (as with all true plants), but can also leach nutrients from other plants. A more common example of this occurs in the plant Viscum capense – the Cape Mistletoe. This food production strategy could theoretically afford these plants an advantage of most other plants that rely solely on photosynthesis for the production of sugars, especially in areas of semi-permanent shade, in waterlogged soils or in low soil ph.
Read more


More about our Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve


Damien Coulson
Head ranger:
Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Damien’s articles are attracting attention far and wide.   Clarens News frequently gets letters asking for Damien’s details, and it seems that his informative articles are being used to good effect:   See the letter below:

Dear Damien
Hope you good and well, I have exciting news. The article on Scabiosa columbaria has been published online Sanbi’s  Plantzafrica, I couldn’t have done this without your assistance your photographs were of great help. Thank you very much, keep on assisting not only me and also others.  The link:

http://pza.sanbi.org/scabiosa-columbaria

Kind regards, Ofentse Naanyane, Conservation Intern, Free State National Botanical Garden


Paballo’s Nursing Care – Sisters on leave

PABALLO’S NURSING CARE @ CLARENS

PLEASE NOTE THAT SISTER ANTOINETTE EARLE AND SISTER HENRIETTE HOHNE WILL BE TAKING THEIR ANNUAL LEAVE FROM TUESDAY 19 MAY 2015 UNTIL TUESDAY 9 JUNE 2015.


Press release issued by Business Connexion  Johannesburg, 5 May 2015

Business Connexion, in partnership with Clarens Combined Churches in Action (CCIA), have come together to provide community development initiatives for the community of Kgubetswana in Clarens by supporting the Bana ba Hlokang (children in need) Community Centre.

Since 2009, Business Connexion has been making an annual monetary donation, which has contributed to the running of Bana ba Hlokang Centre, an initiative of a network of churches in Clarens called Combined Churches in Action.

The non-profit organisation works to improve the lives of the community of Clarens through programmes such as youth development, HIV/Aids education and programmes for the physically disabled. Through this donation, the centre is able to offer children computer classes, sports, after-school lessons, play therapy counselling, and helps feed over 200 children a week. The donation also contributes to supporting the arts centre, which is aimed at bringing an education of the arts to the community, which includes programmes such as ballet, art and music. CCIA is also one of the nine development organisations that was chosen to be part of the shareholding structure of BCX.   Read more


EVENTS:

 

9 May  2015
Clarens Country MarketSee you from 10 am onwards
9th May, 2015
Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day
10th May, 2015
Rock and Roll Mother’s Day Brunch
from 11am at Bon Appetit, Rosemary Centre 
15-17 May, 2015Dan Patlansky Guitar Weekend

Only 30 places available – book now if you want to attend.

16 May, 2015
Anglican Autumn FairUitkyk Farm (Green Goose)

 

20-24 May, 2015

Marke Meyer at Robert Badenhorst Art Gallery

 

22 – 24 May, 2015

Smoking Dragon – Adrenalin Festival

22nd May, 2015
Marke Meyer Exhibition – Official opening by Barbie Meyer
6pm Robert Badenhorst Gallery 
30 May, 2015Opening of Madame Butterfly’s sister shop
Rosemary Centre

 

 

 


Classifieds

Remember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website, especially if you have property to let.
Browse around – you’re bound to find something of interest.

Alectra sessiliflora

Alectra sessiliflora 1 Alectra sessiliflora 2



Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts.  This week we’ll be focusing on a member of the…take a deep breath because it’s another long unusual scientific name… Orobanchaceae(Broomrape)family – whew!

Known by its English common name, Yellow Witchweed (or Verfblommetjie) Alectra sessiliflora is actually an herbaceous hemiparasitic plant on grasses, occurring at altitudes of up to 2900m A.S.L., from the Western Cape through to equatorial Africa. Hemi-parasites are very interesting and rather unusual in that they can obtain nourishment from photosynthesis (as with all true plants), but can also leach nutrients from other plants. A more common example of this occurs in the plant Viscum capense – the Cape Mistletoe. This food production strategy could theoretically afford these plants an advantage of most other plants that rely solely on photosynthesis for the production of sugars, especially in areas of semi-permanent shade, in waterlogged soils or in low soil ph.

The Greek Alectra is derived from Alector or cockscomb (in reference to leaf morphology).Sessiliflora refers to flowers occurring without a stalk and arises directly from the stem. Not many know that the leaves turn black if the plant has been damaged or crushed. A. sessiliflora differs from A. basutica in several respects – it occurs at higher altitudes, prefers moist to dry grassland, is not limited to the Eastern Mountain Region (EMR), the inflorescence is terminal as opposed to a long spike in A. basutica.

sessiliflora obtains a high of 250mm (sometimes doubled depending on terrain). Leaves measure around 30mmX20mm, are spear-tipped and have toothed, fairly hairless margins. The stems are a characteristic purple/black and sparsely haired. The inflorescence is terminal and the bracts mimic leaves, complete with toothed margins. The flowers (around 15mm across) are yellow, barely protruding from their calyx and may grade to orange-yellow with darker veins, with hairless filaments. Flowering occurs from November – March.

Traditional uses

The rootstock was once utilised as a yellow-orange dye in clothing. Hence the Afrikaans vernacular – Verfblommetjie. This plant has also been ingested as a treatment for bacterial and fungal ailments and has been scientifically proven to show antimicrobial chemical properties.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for A. sessiliflora is listed as Least Concern.

 

Click here for more information on plants in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Damien1-100x100Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve