The fantastic array of beautiful mountain flowers found in the Drakensberg on The Cavern nature reserve is far too numerous to detail here. Suffice to say the diversity will enthral any keen botanist, from a dazzling sweep of blue Scilla natalensis to the flagrant display of Barleria monticola; the nodding daisies of Callilepsis laureola and the streamside beauty of Hesperantha coccinea. Within the shady forest patches of Streptocarpus spp. hug the mossy rocks and shy Disperis fanniniae peep from the leaf litter. A walk up the Amphitheatre or a drive to the Sentinel car park takes you to a world of Alpine flowers and rare Drakensberg endemics. A list of just some of the flowers, sedges, ferns and grasses found at The Cavern is given here to whet your appetite.

Next to each entry are the page numbers where this plant can be found in the field guide to “Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region” [WF] and/or the field guide to the flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho “Mountain Flowers” [MF]. Both these field guides are by Elsa Pooley, and published by the Natal Flora Publications Trust.

WF MF
A. cooperi 56
A. fontana 110
A. microraphis 102 56
A. natalensis 160 80
A. perfoliatus 440 222
A. pinifolia 110
A. pleiocephalus 210 100
A. pusilla 80
A. schinzii 64 38
A. virgatus 104
Acalypha punctata 64 38
Adhatoda andromeda 202 96
Afrotysonia glochidiata 180 86
Agapanthus campanulatus 450 228
Ajuga ophrydis 470 236
Albuca fastigiata 92 50
Alepidea amatymbica 160 80
Anemone fanninii 138 72
Anisotoma pedunculata 582 268
Anthospermum herbaceum 556
Argyrolobium marginatum 132
Aristea woodii 454 230
Asclepias cucullata 416 216
Ascolepis capensis 84 46
Asparagus asparagoides 514 250
Aster bakerianus 440 100
Athrixia angustissima 216 110
B. rhapontica 336 178
B. rosulata 178
B. setifera 336 178
B. speciosa 336 178
Barleria monticola 490 240
Becium obovatum 426 88
Begonia sutherlandii 68 40
Berkheya multijuga 336 176
Buchnera simplex 432 220
Bulbine abyssinica 224 116
C. dracomontanum 574 264
C. katherinae 530 256
C. monticola 532 256
C. nigrescens 574 264
C. pottsii 42 32
C. setulosa 148 76
C. vaginata 254 128
Callilepsis laureola 216 112
Cephalaria oblongifolia 204 98
Cerastium arabidis 136 72
Cineraria dieterlenii 320 162
Cissampelos torulosa 252
Clematis brachiata 140 74
Cliffortia nitidula 278
Clutia hirsuta 278
Commelina africana 222 116
Conostomium natalense 492
Convolvulus farinosus 176
Corycium alticola 264
Crassula natalensis 386 74
Crinum bulbispermum 348 184
Crocosmia pearsii 32
Cycnium racemosum 432 220
Cynoglossum austro-africanum 236
D. fanniniae 122 68
D. purpurea 218
D. rotundifolia 90
Desmodium repandum 60
Diascia integerrima 428 218
Diclis reptans 190 90
Dierama robustum 188
Dietes iridoides 110 60
Dimorphotheca jucunda 446 226
Dipcadi marlothii 510 248
Disa fragrans 366 194
Disperis cardiophora 520 196
E. algida 412 212
E. drakensbergensis 162 82
E. evansii 82
E. frigida 82
E. humilis 98 54
E. kraussianum 274 134
E. salignum 62
Erica aestiva 410 212
Eriosema distinctum 60 38
Eucomis bicolor 98 54
Euphorbia epicyparissias 532 256
F. muricata 210 102
F. petiolata 102
Felicia filifolia 442 246
G. capitata 292 138
G. kraussiana 292 138
G. piloselloides 220 114
G. regalis 96 52
G. wakkerstroomianum 152 78
Galium capense 144
Galtonia candicans 96 52
Geranium multisectum 398 206
Gerbera ambigua 220 114
Gnidia baurii 292 136
Graderia scabra 430 220
Gunnera perpensa 578 266
Guthriea capensis 256
H. angustifolia 232
H. appendiculatum 82 104
H. argentea 234 120
H. aureonitens 310 148
H. aureum 312 156
H. bellum 108
H. chionosphaerum 212 106
H. coccinea (formerly Schizostylis coccinea) 42 30
H. confertum 214 104
H. evansii 148
H. filiformis 234 120
H. herbaceum 314 154
H. hypoleucum 314 150
H. marginatum 108
H. oreophilum 316 150
H. pallidum 314 154
H. pilosellum 314 154
H. sutherlandii 214 104
H. umbraculigerum 316 146
Haplocarpa scaposa 332 176
Harveya speciosa 196 96
Hebenstretia dura 194 94
Helichrysum acutatum 310 150
Heliophila rigidiuscula 460 234
Hesperantha baurii 352 186
Heteromma decurrens 146
Hibiscus aethiopicus 284 134
Hoffmanseggia sandersonii 388 204
Hypericum aethiopicum 290 136
Hypoestes triflora 436
Hypoxis acuminata 232 120
Jamesbrittenia pristisepala 480 238
K. thodei 30 24
Kniphofia breviflora 92 50
Kohautia amatymbica 202 98
L. leonurus 70 42
L. ovatifolia 344 180
L. preslii 244
Ledebouria cooperi 344 180
Leonotis dubia 70 40
Lobelia flaccida 496 242
Lotononis lotononoides 460 234
M. huttonii 236 122
M. trifida 236 122
Momordica foetida 80
Monopsis decipiens 496 244
Moraea brevistyla 108 60
Myosotis semiamplexicaulis 236
N. rupicola 220
Nemesia denticulata 428
Nerine bowdenii 346 182
O. obliquifolia 402 208
O. smithiana 402 208
Ornithogalum graminifolium 512 56
Osteospermum thodei 174
Oxalis depressa 208
P. luridum 400 208
P. ohlendorfiana 210
P. prunelloides 492 240
P. pyrifolia 216 226
P. rehmannii 404
P. schlechteri 400 38
P. virgata 406 210
Papaver aculeatum 52 36
Pavonia columella 408 212
Pelargonium alchemilloides 154 206
Pentanisia angustifolia 492
Peperomia retusa 524 254
Peucedanum caffrum 296
Phygelius aequalis 72 42
Polygala gracilenta 210
Polystachya ottoniana 124 70
Printzia nutans 110
Protea dracomontana 374 276
Psammatropha mucronata 528 254
Pterygodium hastatum 124 70
Pycnostachys reticulata 472 88
R. multifidus 252 128
R. rigidus 386 202
Ranunculus baurii 250 128
Rhodohypoxis baurii 352 58
Rhus discolor 534 280
Riocreuxia torulosa 176 86
Romulea thodei 186
Rubus ludwigii 386 202
Rumex woodii 376 200
S. bupleuroides 322
S. deltoideus 322 164
S. discodregeanus 498 246
S. gerrardii 552
S. glaberrimus 322 164
S. haygarthii 322 166
S. isatideus 324 166
S. kuntzei 182 88
S. nervosa 96 54
S. oxyriifolius 328 168
S. rhomboideus 328 168
S. tamoides 328 170
Satyrium longicauda 118 66
Scabiosa columbaria 438 98
Schizoglossum stenoglossum 300 142
Scilla natalensis 452 228
Sebaea natalensis 298 140
Secamone alpini 172
Selago monticola 196 96
Senecio barbatus 498 246
Silene burchellii 382 200
Sium repandum 296
Sopubia cana 430 220
Stachys aethiopica 182 86
Stephania abyssinica 52
Stoebe vulgaris 216 110
Striga bilabiata 432 220
Syncolostemon macranthus 426 218
Thesium costatum 134 72
Trifolium burchellianum 388 204
Tritonia lineata 238 124
U. macrocentra 94 52
Urginea calcarata 94 52
Ursinia alpina 174
V. natalensis 496 244
Valeriana capensis 204 98
Vernonia hirsuta 498 244
W. cuspidata 494 240
W. krebsii 494 242
Wahlenbergia appressifolia 494 240
Watsonia lepida 360 190
Xerophyta viscosa 352 184
Xysmalobium parviflorum 544 266
Z. albomaculata 86 46
Zaluzianskya microsiphon 192 92
Zantedeschia aethiopica 84 46
 
Sedges:
C. zuluensis 568 262
Carex austro-africana 506 248
Cyperus sphaerocephalus 222 116
 
Ferns:
A. aethiopicum 296
A. monanthes 296
A. rutifolium
Asplenium adiantum-nigrum 296
Cheilanthes quadripinnata 294
Cyathea dregei 294
Dryopteris inaequalis 298
Gleichenia umbraculifera 294
Grammitis rigescens 296
P. catoptera var. catoptera
Pleopeltis macrocarpa 296
Polypodium polypodioides
Pteris cretica 294
S. imbricata 292
Selaginella caffrorum 292
Thelypteris confluens

Further reading: Burrows, J.E. & S.M. (1990). “SA Ferns and Fern Allies“. Frandsen.

Grasses:

Alloteropsis semialata
Arundinella nepalensis
Cymbopogon validus
Digitaria tricholaenoides
Elionurus muticus
Eragrostis capensis
Harpochloa falx
Imperata cylindrica
Melinus nerviglumis
M. repens
Oplismenus hirtellus
Themeda triandra

Further reading: van Oudtshoorn F.P. (1992). “Guide to Grasses of South Africa “. Briza.

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